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Cayman Islands Transparency Recognized By OECD

by Phillip Morton, Investors

07 October 2010

The Cayman Islands has noted the official adoption by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information, at its recent meeting in Singapore, of a report detailing the territory’s progress in adhering to international standards, particularly in the realm of tax transparency.

The Cayman Islands was one of eight countries, and among the first in the world, to be assessed under the Global Forum’s Peer Review Programme. The reports for the assessed countries were approved at the Peer Review Group meeting held in July in the Bahamas and were eventually formally adopted at the OECD’s Singapore meeting.

The Cayman Islands Peer Review Report identified, “… a well developed legal and regulatory framework”, but noted that there were some other areas that required improvement. The assessors also reported that “in respect of access to information, the competent authority of the Cayman Islands is invested with broad powers to gather relevant information.”

The Cayman Islands is a member of the Global Forum, as well as a member of the Steering Group and Peer Review Group.

A delegation headed by the island’s Premier and Minister for Finance, McKeeva Bush, attended the meeting. In his address to the Global Forum, Bush highlighted the importance of the Peer Review and commended fellow Peer Review Group members for their excellent work, as well as the delegations of those jurisdictions which formed the first set of countries to undergo assessment. He stated that “this represents a significant accomplishment for all those involved, and is an important contribution to the understanding of each country’s approach to the global standards.”

The Premier also took the opportunity to provide members of the Global Forum with an update on the steps that the Cayman Islands government has taken to immediately address the areas for improvement identified in the Peer Review Report.

The OECD Forum in particular looks at jurisdictions’ compliance with international standards in the field of tax information exchange. It was required in April 2009 that countries placed on a 'grey list' should enter into agreements with at least twelve countries to provide reciprocal tax information exchange, as part of industrialized nations' efforts to tackle tax crime.

The Cayman Islands has so far entered into nineteen tax information exchange agreements. The government has notified that it initialed two further agreements, on the sidelines of the forum, with India and Greece, which will be signed in the near future.

TAGS: compliance | tax | offshore confidentiality | tax information exchange agreement (TIEA) | India | tax avoidance | banking | financial services | Cayman Islands | offshore | agreements | offshore banking | banking secrecy | Greece | standards | services

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