New signs that Cayman might dismantle its secrecy law

   0   0 Blog, Information Exchange, Secrecy
Cayman: From Paolo Woods' and Gabriele Galimberti's book The Heavens

Cayman: From the tax haven book The Heavens

Cayman politicians love to pretend that they aren’t living in a tax haven. No, they’re part of a responsible international financial centre. And, as we’ve remarked ad nauseam, they all say that. It’s almost a defining feature of tax havens (or, if you prefer to emphasise one important aspect, secrecy jurisdictions.)

Now Cayman has a particularly pernicious piece of secrecy legislation, known as the Confidential Relationships (preservation) Law, under which you can go to jail for up to four years, not only for divulging confidential information, but merely for asking for it. (See Sections 5(1) and 5(2) here if you don’t believe us, then ponder what it would be like to sit in a Cayman jail for four years. Nasty.) We should also add that this is just one aspect of Cayman’s secrecy offerings: scroll down to the bottom here for more details.

Well, now some interesting developments. From Cayman News Service:

“Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush has accused the financial services minister of failing to protect Cayman’s financial services sector because of what he claims are agreements made with the UK and plans to dismantle Cayman’s secrecy law.”

Something is shifting in Cayman. And some more telling details:

“In the latest spat in the ongoing war of words between Bush and Panton, Bush accused the minister of being ‘hell bent’ on destroying the offshore industry.”

The logical conclusion from this, of course, is that Cayman’s offshore industry is based upon financial secrecy. (There’s far more to Cayman than secrecy, of course: see this nasty can of worms, for instance.) But now here’s another, arguably more important, point:

Bush has accused Wayne Panton of shifting his loyalty from his own country to the British government, as both he and the PPM appeased ‘their London masters’ with detrimental changes to the financial services laws.”

That use of “their London masters” is interesting, for it hints at what is ultimately the main point of all this.  For many years, successive British governments have sought to argue that Cayman is, well, outside of their control, and that (*wring hands wistfully*) there is really nothing they can do. TJN and, more recently, some others, have rumbled the UK government.

For more details, see this report we co-authored last November, demonstrating the Overseas Territories’ continued role in providing financial secrecy, and also our earlier post Britain can force its tax havens to curb secrecy. But will it?.

Now we repeat the question. Will it?

For a history of how Cayman emerged as a secrecy jurisdiction, please read this.

 


Related Posts

UN must defend target to curtail multinational companies’ tax abuse

Photo by Luca Santori, Creative Commons LicenseThe Tax Justice Network, The Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, and the Global Alliance for Tax Justice call on the UN Secretary General to make sure the commitment to action on tax abuses by multinational companies remains part of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.

READ MORE →

The BVI: Responsible for worldwide tax losses of $37.5 billion a year

BVI report blogAn extraordinary report by consultants Capital Economics, for BVI Finance, claims that the British Virgin Islands are responsible for $1.5 trillion of assets invested around the world, and that these result in 2.2 million jobs and $15 billion in tax revenue. A better approximation would be that the BVI imposes global tax losses of $37.5 […]

READ MORE →

Event: Making Tax Work for Women in the UK and Globally

Invitation_ Tax and Gender eventOn Wednesday 28th June 2017 at 16.30 our very own Liz Nelson will be speaking at an event in London that aims to bring together gender and tax justice advocates to highlight the need for coherent and gender-responsive fiscal policies to safeguard the rights of women and girls both in the UK and globally. The […]

READ MORE →

Historic event on women, human rights and tax justice in Bogota

BogotaLast week civil society organisations, researchers, labour union activists and policy makers met in Bogota, Colombia to explore how tax justice issues can ensure governments, multinational corporations and others meet their obligations to women in order to secure their full range of human rights. The Women’s Rights and Tax Justice conference opened with a conversation […]

READ MORE →

The Offshore Wrapper: the Panama Papers, one year on

Photos from the Protest outside PwC 1 Embankment Place, part of the Global week of action for tax justiceWelcome to the Offshore Wrapper – your weekly update from TJN.  Happy Paniversary! This week it’s been one year since the Panama Papers were leaked, and a number of organisations around the world have been marking the occasion though the global week of action for tax justice. In London, activists from the TJN and the […]

READ MORE →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top