5 December 2019

Cayman captive community “the envy of the world”

The Cayman Islands captive community is “incredibly vibrant” and “the envy of the world,” according to Tara Rivers, minister of financial services and home affairs in the Cayman Islands government.

Welcoming delegates to the second day of the Cayman Captive Forum, Rivers said the Cayman government, in partnership with the Insurance Managers Association of Cayman (IMAC), is committed to evolving its regulatory environment to ensure the island remains a leading financial services jurisdiction. She called on delegates, and everyone with business dealings in Cayman, to continue talking up the island, to ensure it retained its strong reputation in this sector.

Financial services provides around half of Cayman's GDP, noted Rivers. It is impossible to put a precise figure on the contribution because accounting and legal firms are counted as non financial services. But financial services companies provide around $1.3 billion, or around 30 percent of Cayman's GDP of $4.3 billion she said. Adding in the contribution from law firms and accounting would likely take the figure to around 50 percent, she added.

Rivers said the Cayman government does a good job of managing this financial contribution for the benefit of the whole country. Cayman has enjoyed a budget surplus for the past six years, she said, that surplus having amounted to $183.3 million in 2018. Last year the government paid down $30 million in debt, she said.

Attendees to the conference also help the country, noted Rivers, by helping to finance the IMAC Scholarship Fund. “It's a win-win for all of us,” she said.

Rivers also welcomed the OECD labelling Cayman as “not harmful” earlier this year. While this sounds underwhelming, she conceded, it constitutes a top score in this area as far as the OECD is concerned.