Following last month’s arrest of former Cayman islands premier, McKeeva Bush, for breach of trust, misconduct and theft, the UK government has published an agreement with The Cayman Islands aimed at improving tax compliance.
Back in April, current premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly offered David Cameron The Cayman Islands’ full cooperation with the G5 countries’ project on the automatic exchange of bank account information. This would include the name, address, date of birth and, where available, the UK national insurance number of each account, the account number and the name of the reporting Cayman Islands financial institution.
This is a refreshing attitude for such a well-known offshore financial institution to take, particularly as they have been increasingly under fire based on the perception that they help criminals launder money and the world’s wealthiest avoid and evade tax. This week the Tax Justice Network named Switzerland as the most secretive tax jurisdiction, and claimed that the world’s wealthiest are hiding some $21 trillion in illegal accounts.
Whilst there is a great deal of skepticism in the industry regarding these figures, it’s a step in the right direction for The Cayman Islands to cooperate so readily.