The Cayman Islands will set up a central platform of beneficial owners that will allow designated Cayman Islands officials to directly obtain details of beneficial ownership of companies incorporated in Cayman. Upon formal request, this information will be shared with law enforcement authorities in the UK. Commitment has been given to have the system in place by June 2017.
The information will not be available publicly or available directly to any UK or non-Cayman Islands government agency.
We expect and indeed understand specifically that several other UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies including the British Virgin Islands will soon follow suit and implement similar beneficial ownership platforms. At this time it is difficult to determine how global this sharing arrangement will become, but clients should treat this as a beginning of greater transparency of information.
As a provider of services our policy is to have beneficial ownership information for companies we administer. As a result we expect little disruption from the planned platform. The platform does not vary the current legal position vis-à-vis the power of the regulators to obtain information from service providers, although some subsidiary legislation may be required. It does however simplify and speed up the process by which this sort of information can be sourced from service providers.
There will be further consultation with the industry during the implementation process and we will update our clients throughout the year.
For more information on any aspect of this briefing please contact any member of the Marbury team.