The Cayman Islands is a strong partner in combatting global financial crime. The jurisdiction has implemented the highest global standards for transparency and cross-border co-operation which are regularly reviewed and enhanced.
The Cayman Islands has implemented the highest global standards for transparency and cross-border co-operation, which are regularly reviewed and enhanced.
The Cayman Islands has legislation that establishes a centralised platform for beneficial ownership information. The legislation requires companies, limited liability partnerships (LLPs) and limited liability companies (LLCs) to engage a corporate services provider to assist them in establishing and maintaining a beneficial ownership register. Companies, LLPs, LLCs and other persons may be subject to fines and imprisonment for breaching the laws relating to establishing and maintaining beneficial ownership registers.
Only the competent authority can search the beneficial ownership registers for information and can do so only upon a lawful request by a specified Cayman Islands or UK law enforcement authority.
Following industry consultation, the Beneficial Ownership Transparency Bill, 2023 (the "Bill") was gazetted on 30 August 2023. If implemented, the Bill will change the current beneficial ownership framework, including by: (i) bringing exempted limited partnerships and limited partnerships within the scope of the regime; and (ii) removing a number of the current exemptions to establishing and maintaining a beneficial ownership register.
Following an international campaign to encourage more countries to commit to publicly accessible registers by the end of 2023 the Cayman Islands Government made a commitment in 2019 to introduce public registers of beneficial ownership information when it becomes the international standard. However, a judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in November 2022 on this topic has raised questions on the constitutionality of implementing a public register. Consequently, the Bill now provides that beneficial ownership information can only be made available to the public if and when regulations have been proposed by Cabinet and affirmed by a future resolution of Parliament.