Wayne Panton, Minister for Financial Services, has said the Cayman Islands will assess its regime on beneficial
ownership and whether a central registry of beneficial ownership is the most appropriate and effective way to improve transparency.
He was speaking in response to the news that the UK government has announced a proposal for a public register of beneficial ownership information, following the results of its public consultation. If implemented, the register conceivably would allow a citizen of any country to access information on the beneficial owners of UK-registered entities.
Panton said that in the action plan on the misuse of companies and other legal structures published by the Cayman Islands immediately following the June G8 Summit, it committed to assess whether a central registry of beneficial ownership is the most appropriate and effective way to improve transparency.
“Further to that commitment, our public consultation document will be issued this November,” he said in a statement. “Along with our consultation, we will continue to monitor the global response to the UK’s announcement and any proposals that are made by other G8 countries, the G20 and other relevant international bodies on matters related to transparency. Universal success will be predicated on a fair, and level, playing field in which all jurisdictions adhere to accepted and recognised standards.
“As evidenced in our April 2013 Phase 2 Peer Review Report by the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and xchange of Information for Tax Purposes, information relating to beneficial owners is available in Cayman. Through our recognised legal and regulatory infrastructure, that information has been collected and updated in the jurisdiction for more than a decade.
“The UK’s proposal to consider a public register on beneficial ownership continues the UK’s strong political stance on tax and transparency matters and expands the public discourse on the best way to facilitate a global standard.”
He went onto say that the Cayman Islands will continue to engage in the discussion, and to support the UK and the global financial industry in developing effective standards.