Cayman joins iniative for new ‘global standard’ on company ownership info

The Cayman Islands will join the United Kingdom’s effort to develop a new global standard for sharing information on the owners of companies and trusts, likely to include automatic exchange of ownership information, according to the Ministry of Financial Services.

A statement released early Wednesday by the ministry said Cayman will also repeal the Confidential Relationships (Preservation) Law, “which often has been misrepresented as Cayman’s ‘secrecy law.’” The ministry says a new Confidential Information Disclosure Law will replace the current legislation.

The new law “will better clarify the mechanisms through which confidential information may be shared with appropriate authorities,” according to the ministry. The statement says Premier Alden McLaughlin pledged to the U.K. to repeal the law by September.

Also by September the ministry says it will introduce new data protection legislation “that is on par with what is in place in the European Union.”

The premier and other Cayman officials are slated to participate in the Anti-Corruption Summit tomorrow in London hosted by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron. Mr. McLaughlin said that Cayman already participates in a number of tax compliance and anti-corruption initiatives.

“For many years Cayman has had in place a strong anti-corruption framework, as evidenced by the extension in 2010 of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention; and the expected extension of the UN Convention against Corruption, for which Cayman was favourably assessed in 2014,” he said in a statement released early Wednesday morning.

Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton, who will also participate in Thursday’s conference, said, “We recognise the need for closer collaboration, in line with international standards.  We support current initiatives in this regard, and will do our part to promote transparency in order to encourage global tax compliance.”

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