The Cayman Islands has fallen 11 places in the latest Global Financial Centres Index, which ranks financial centres based on instrumental factors and responses to an online survey.
It is now ranked 54th out of 83, scoring 23 points lower than in the previous ranking.
The current index noted that offshore centres continue to struggle with reputation and regulation. Although offshore financial centres scored higher than a few years ago, all 14 offshore centres tracked in the ranking saw their ratings decline since the last Global Financial Centre Index 15, published six months ago.
The British Virgin Islands is the highest placed offshore centre at 47th, followed by Gibraltar in 53rd place and the Cayman Islands in 54th.
Gonzalo Jalles, Cayman Finance chief executive officer, said: “The assessment based upon responses, which is equally applied to all jurisdictions represented in the survey, is, in my opinion, the most critical piece of data that the entire index has produced. Under that assessment, the CaymanIslands ranks nine positions higher than the previous survey, and ahead of all the countries listed as offshore centres. This is significant because it reflects the fact that our customers believe Cayman is the offshore centre of choice for their business.”
However, Jalles was critical of the overall methodology of the report.
“While we welcome the fact that Cayman is ranked in the top three of offshore centres ahead of significant competitors, like Bermuda, Jersey and Guernsey, the dramatic changes in ranking that have been displayed in this current index and some particular results make us doubt of the usefulness of this index,” he stated. “The changes in the rankings of offshore centres are difficult to reconcile with recent industry developments.”
According to Cayman Finance, the author of the report, Mark Yeandle, responded to the criticism. He said: “We do have a great deal of faith in the methodology and are very open about the methodology on our website and in our reports – we also encourage anyone who is interested to contact us for further information.”
“Basically, we use a combination of objective factors – 105 of these factors in the latest edition from organisations such as the OECD, World Bank, EIU etc. – and the results of an online questionnaire completed by financial professionals around the world (3,633 respondents in the latest edition).”
Cayman, Gonzalo Jalles, Mark Yeandle, Global Financial Centres Index