Mr Jude Scott, CEO of Cayman Finance said the publishing on Monday of the online database of entities, officers and intermediaries linked to the Panama Papers release showed links to the Cayman Islands to be relatively minor in scale in terms of the volume of data.
“Of the 214,000 offshore companies set up by the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, only 104 had a link to the Cayman Islands, these being of the typical range of business expected of a global financial hub such as Cayman,” Mr Scott said.
“Cayman Finance and the Cayman Islands have no tolerance for those who choose to violate our laws,” he said. “Unfortunately, no jurisdiction in the world is free from the threat of criminal financial activity. Top jurisdictions ensure appropriate law enforcement authorities are empowered and informed fully to prevent crimes, investigate and apprehend criminals. On these efforts the Cayman Islands has been a leader.”
“The Cayman Islands financial services industry has been a recognised for decades as a strong international partner in combatting corruption, money-laundering and tax evasion. We meet or exceed all globally-accepted standards for transparency and cross border cooperation with law enforcement. The Cayman Islands is a transparent jurisdiction,” Mr Scott said.
Mr Scott said Cayman’s financial services industry’s collaborative relationship with government was supporting further enhancements to the jurisdiction’s legal infrastructure to promote even greater transparency with law enforcement.
“These enhancements include a new agreement to provide UK authorities access to beneficial ownership information with the utmost urgency, but in a way that is also appropriate for our jurisdiction. These further include a newly announced prohibition on the use of bearer shares, repeal of Cayman’s Confidential Relationships (Preservation) Law and new data protection legislation that will be on par with what is in place in the European Union,” he said.
“Combatting global financial crime requires a unified legal, social and law enforcement approach – and not just by any one jurisdiction, but by all G20 countries and International Financial Centres. We will continue working with those who pursue practical solutions that also recognise the critical role International Financial Centres like the Cayman Islands play in the global economy,” Mr Scott said.