Government could relax rules for Cayman Islands disclosures

Lauren Fedor
Follow Lauren
The Cayman Islands is an offshore territory known for the opacity of its business rules

VERNMENT 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.