Suzanne Sadlier, deputy head of insurance, Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA)
6 December 2019

Cayman struggles against “outdated, uninformed and inaccurate” negative perceptions

Cayman is constantly fighting against misconceptions and negative connotations that are “outdated, uninformed and inaccurate,” according to Suzanne Sadlier, deputy head of insurance at the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA).

Speaking at the Cayman Captive Forum, Sadlier said: “As an offshore jurisdiction we do get a disproportionate amount of scrutiny here, despite our efforts to promote transparency and cooperation. That does create an uneven playing field.”

That is not a new challenge for Cayman, added Sadlier. “We will continue to work to dispel the myths about our regulatory regime,” she promised.

Cayman continues to fight against the myth among outsiders that it is “a secretive domicile for illegitimate activities,” according to Sadlier. In fact, the island's financial services industry is based on collaboration, transparency and cooperation, she said, pointing to its involvement in many international regulatory bodies, and cooperative arrangements with onshore and offshore regulators around the world.

Cayman does not want controversial entities within its jurisdiction, added Sadlier. “Quality-based growth is the measure of our success,” she said. “We want quality rather than quantity in our licensed entities.”

Sadlier said Cayman's success as a jurisdiction is based on its sound legislative and regulatory regime, the pragmatism and accessibility of its regulators, its expert staff and CIMA's participation in international regulatory forums. Its risk based regulation is “practical, sensible and proportionate,” she added, striking “the right balance between regulation and operational freedom.”

She vowed Cayman will keep adapting to remain relevant, while continuing to uphold international standards in the fight against financial crime such as money laundering and terrorism financing. Cayman is particularly proud of its insurance industry, added Sadlier, which she called “critical” to its broader financial services offering.