By Cayman Finance CEO, Gonzalo Jalles
The FCA should be embarrassed of themselves.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), one key regulator in the UK, recently published a list of what they consider High Risk Countries for illicit flows of money.
The fact that they have listed Cayman despite our long standing commitment to transparency and good rating as per the OECD/FATF clearly upsets us, however what is even more upsetting is the FCA’s hypocrisy.
The FCA preaches for transparency. In April of this year they published a “Transparency Discussion” paper, and in the introduction they state: “As a public body, we should be as open and accountable as possible. We are open to being scrutinised by consumers, firms and Parliament”. However, they do not practice what they preach. The methodology for the construction of this list is not disclosed and we have serious reasons to believe it is poorly constructed and fundamentally flawed.
We recently conducted an independent analysis on the way the Tax Justice Network constructs its secrecy index, with lapidary conclusions (the analysis can be found here). We would be willing and able to submit their analysis to a similar rigorous independent analysis, however my guess is there has not been enough work behind it and the FCA is likely to resist opening it to independent scrutiny.
We are convinced, in line with OECD/FATF reviews, that Cayman is at the forefront of combating and preventing financial crime, and evidence shows that we are at a similar or higher standing than the UK themselves, certainly in regards to beneficial ownership information.
I publicly defy the FCA to practice what they preach…transparency.