Government could relax rules for Cayman Islands disclosures

Lauren Fedor
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The Cayman Islands is an offshore territory known for the opacity of its business rules
A GOVERNMENT minister has indicated that the UK has eased up on its efforts to get the Cayman Islands to create a register of company ownership.

Prime Minister David Cameron wrote to overseas territories last year, pushing them to consider publishing a list of beneficial ownership. He argued that public access to a list of who owns each business is “vital to meeting the urgent challenges of illicit finance and tax evasion”.

But on a visit to the Cayman Islands last month, Grant Shapps, the international development minister, said “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”, but added: “There needs to be, certainly for law enforcement agencies and bodies, the ability to find out who owns what in a transparent way, and not only for that information to be quickly and efficiently available, so a single request could go in and the information can be provided.”

Cayman Islands authorities have indicated that they do not want to implement Cameron’s ideas.