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Cayman Islands' Ongoing Commitment to Enhancing Transparency in Beneficial Ownership Registers

In the pursuit of maintaining a secure financial environment, the Cayman Islands reaffirms its unwavering commitment to combat illicit finance within its jurisdiction. Collaborating closely with UK and global law enforcement agencies and competent authorities, the Cayman Islands continues to be at the forefront of initiatives aimed at bolstering tax cooperation and transparency, as well as intensifying efforts to combat money laundering and counter the financing of terrorism.


This commitment has garnered recognition from independent assessments by international organizations, notably the recent acknowledgment by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of the strengthened framework implemented.


Recognizing the significance of aligning with evolving global standards, the Cayman Islands actively takes measures to meet new FATF transparency standards. The passage of the Beneficial Ownership Transparency Act on November 23, 2023, is a testament to these efforts. The act facilitates access to the Cayman Islands central register of beneficial ownership information by competent authorities, law enforcement agencies, licensed financial institutions, and the public.


In response to the Grand Chamber's judgment of the European Court of Justice (EUCJ) on November 22, 2022, which held that a public register of beneficial ownership should align with privacy rights, the Cayman Islands is diligently working to provide access to the public. This access will be granted to those who meet the "legitimate interest test," including individuals genuinely seeking information to prevent or combat money laundering and terrorist financing, such as media and civil society organizations under specific circumstances outlined by the EUCJ Judgment. The enhanced beneficial ownership framework, incorporating these measures, is expected to be in place no later than Q4 2024.


Acknowledging the commitment made to the United Kingdom in 2019, the Cayman Islands reiterates its dedication to introducing publicly accessible registers of beneficial ownership information. This commitment aligns with the objectives and purpose of the SAMLA framework and adheres to constitutional obligations. The Cayman Islands remains committed to advancing transparency and publicly accessible registers in line with evolving global standards and best practices.


Maintaining a robust bilateral partnership with the United Kingdom, the Cayman Islands is dedicated to jointly combatting illicit financial flows in a proportional manner, contributing to the establishment of a responsible and transparent global financial system.


Contacts


If you require assistance in relation to the above and/or would like to discuss anything further, please do not hesitate to contact info@act.london or your usual A.C.T. contact.

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