8 September 2014Cayman analysis

UK FCA pulls ‘high risk’ countries list

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has removed from its website the initial list of ‘High Risk Countries’ and committed to a full review of the methodology that resulted in the Cayman Islands being placed on the list.

It added that it does not plan to publish such a list in the future.

Wayne Panton, Minister of Financial Services in Cayman, said: “Government has been in continuing correspondence with the FCA regarding the list since our first letter of July 8, and we recently sent correspondence to the UK Treasury, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on this matter as well.”

While recognising the FCA’s actions, he said that questions regarding the FCA’s methodology remain salient.

“Our industry regulator, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, will continue the dialogue with FCA officials to ensure they are accurately informed about our regime,” he said.

It was also proposed that the Premier Alden McLaughlin should lead a small delegation to the UK to further discuss the circumstances around this issue with the FCO and other UK Government departments.

Highlighting one of the reasons why Cayman’s inclusion on the previously published list is highly questionable, Minister Panton pointed to the fact that Cayman and the UK rated equally in the OECD's 2013 Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes rankings; in the Global Forum’s assessment, Cayman’s rating was higher than most of the G8 countries.

“The third-party data and assessments on Cayman’s regime speak impartially and unambiguously regarding the strengths of our system,” he added.