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Cayman Regulator Sets Out Objectives For Coming Year

by Amanda Banks,, London

25 September 2006

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority has set out its goals, objectives and priorities in order to achieve its mission of enhancing the economic wealth and reputation of the Cayman Islands through its regulatory activities.

In its 'Look Forward Report 2006/2007', CIMA outlined a number of the projects currently on the table. Much of this work will be connected with Basel II, the new international framework of capital standards for the banking industry, set to come into force next year.

CIMA said analysis and consultation with the finance industry will continue on the new capital accord, including a Basel II impact study and assessment, with the assistance of a consultant. There will also be recommendations made for legislative changes required to maintain compliance with the amended Basel principles.

Additional projects connected with the creation of a high quality and effective regulatory environment include self-assessment by CIMA against the relevant international standards to ensure that it is well-placed for the external assessments by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and the IMF.

There will also be Statements of Guidance published on the minimum criteria for banks to maintain a physical presence, as well as a statement on business continuity plans.

Much of CIMA's activity is concerned with assisting overseas regulators, and over the next year, the authority will continue its dialogue with IOSCO (the International Organisation of Securities Commissions) with a view to membership, as well as continuing to negotiate Memoranda of Understanding with other international regulators, which facilitate the sharing of information between regulators.

Being responsive to the appropriate needs of the market is a key objective for CIMA as it looks both at home and abroad to identify, understand and anticipate the needs of stakeholders. Near-term priorities include a report on the effectiveness and cost benefits of the guidance notes on the Prevention and Detection of Money Laundering in the Cayman Islands, with a view to developing a more sophisticated risk based-approach.

CIMA will also complete the review of guidance to the insurance sector on customer identification, with a view to possible enhancements, while money services businesses can expect specific anti-money laundering guidance.

Operationally speaking there are a number of planned measures to improve efficiency, including the analysis of possibly charging fees for specific services, while on the currency side, CIMA is working on segregating reserves to ensure continued statutory compliance.

There is also a wide range of more than 30 conferences and events that CIMA has identified for attendance over the next year, including the World Captive Forum, the Offshore Trust Summit, the IMF Roundtable and IOSCO conferences.

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