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mckeevaAs initiatives continue to be planned and implemented for offshore centres to reveal even more information on what goes on in the world of offshore finance and the details of the thousands of companies and entities involved, former Cayman Islands Premier and United Democratic Party leader, McKeeva Bush,  has questioned the fairness of these proposals and also the associated risks. This story is from CNS Business.

Speaking at the recent Commonwealth meeting in South Africa, Mr. Bush said the issue of beneficial ownership spelt the return of an uneven playing field, tipped against Cayman and other similar jurisdictions. Whatever happened over the latest demands, he said, consideration must be given to the protection of the legitimate right to privacy. He pointed to Delaware in the United States, where companies are not required to undertake any enquiries regarding the beneficial ownership, even though some one million companies are formed a year in that state and others like it .

Meanwhile, even though Cayman complies fully with all the international standards and regulations, even more is being demanded. It could be argued that the Cayman Islands are being unfairly treated as it has done everything to play by the rules yet it still remains under a suspicious spotlight.

Mr.Bush stated;  “The history of compliance in this area is good and is recognized as such by the OECD and the FATF.  Very careful consideration must be given to the question of whether we are now to have a further initiative requiring complete transparency on all beneficial ownership, with the attendant risk that this information, if made public, would be available not only to journalists and financial competitors but to terrorists and crime syndicates,”

He also queried how much such a public database would affect the competitive model of the Cayman Islands against those jurisdictions that would be unlikely to introduce anything similar. “Into this latter category we can include the relevant United States jurisdictions, Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming, the Asian power houses, Hong Kong and Singapore and, no doubt, Dubai,” Bush said.

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