Cayman Islands Issues Action Plan On Beneficial Ownership
Thursday, June 27, 2013
The Cayman Islands has said that it is committed to continue working with other nations towards the full implementation of the revised Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards, in order to improve transparency of the ownership and control of companies in a way that ensures a level playing field across the world. This is a matter of good governance, as well as a means to tackle a wide range of illicit activities.
Collection and maintenance of beneficial ownership information by corporate service providers and trustees of express trusts has been a legal requirement in Cayman for more than a decade. The obligation on trust and corporate service providers to collect, update and retain such data is enforced through a regime that mandates a licensing process for trust and corporate service and an ongoing program of supervision and enforcement action that involves onsite regulatory inspections.
The Cayman Islands supports the high standards set by the revised FATF recommendations, including recommendations 24 and 25, and is committed to continue making progress towards the full implementation of these standards by undertaking the following actions:
1.Conduct, and share the findings of, a national assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing risks by 2015, through co-ordinated action by the public and private sectors to assess risks, apply resources and mitigate those risks.
2.Further evaluate established policies and legislative measures to ensure that information on the ownership and control for companies and express trusts continues to be effectively and accurately maintained, and that this information continues to be readily available to the appropriate authorities.
3.Conduct an assessment of whether a central registry of the beneficial ownership and control of companies is the most appropriate and effective way to improve transparency in support of domestic legal compliance and the implementation of cross border assistance in accordance with internationally adopted and implemented standards during 2015.
4.Continue the longstanding supervision of those who execute company formation in the Cayman Islands, and keep the regulatory regime under review.
5.Conduct a review of supervision and regulation of the financial services sector, including category A and B banks, during 2015 to establish effectiveness of supervision and enforcement of existing rules on beneficial ownership.
6.Further review corporate transparency including the use of bearer shares (all of which are already immobilized and subject to regulation in the Cayman Islands) as recommended in the Phase 2 Peer Review Report by the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, by 2014.
7.Maintain high standards of international cooperation, including the timely and effective exchange of basic and beneficial ownership information on legal persons and arrangements.
8.Continue to negotiate and enter into international tax cooperation agreements and arrangements under the entrustment of the United Kingdom, where appropriate, including tax information exchange agreements and double taxation agreements; intergovernmental agreements in support of automatic exchange of tax information (such as under the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act); and the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.