The chief executive of Cayman Finance, speaking on behalf of businesses on Cayman, has welcomed the outcome of a 10 month investigation by the European Union that has excluded the Cayman Islands from a so-called blacklist of countries that it claims are not doing enough to crack down on offshore avoidance schemes.
A list of such countries has been drafted by the European Council’s Code of Conduct (COC), a group of finance ministers from EU member states.
The countries on the so-called blacklist are: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
The list excludes a number of British Overseas Territories including Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. They had both previously been included on a 2015 list which was subsequently scrapped following a row over its methodology.
Bermuda and the Cayman Islands were referenced in the report, however, as being committed to addressing concerns relating to economic substance – where offshore structures may be used to attract profits without real economic activity – by 2018.
Jude Scott, CEO of Cayman Finance, said: “Cayman Finance has worked hard with the Cayman Islands Government to address the concerns the European Union has raised.
“We are at the forefront of regulatory and tax compliance and information exchange. The Cayman Islands meets or exceeds the highest global financial standards, sharing the same OECD rating as many EU Member States. As an early adopter of international best practice in standards for transparency and cross-border cooperation we will continue to work closely with our colleagues in tax and law enforcement authorities around the world.
“We are confident that we will be able to address the areas where the EU requires some further clarification.”
Cayman Finance, Jude Scott, Cayman Islands, European Union