Financial growth recorded in ’04

The financial services industry in the Cayman Islands showed growth in 2004.

The Board of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority met in Grand Cayman during the week of 17 January.

The Directors were particularly pleased to note the continued growth of the financial services industry in 2004, driven by the fund and captive industries, states a CIMA press release.

Funds domiciled in the jurisdiction at 31 December 2004 increased by 25 per cent to nearly 6,000. Seventy-five new captives were licensed with the total of 693 at year-end representing a 7 per cent net increase. Banking and fiduciary services more than held their own, with total year-end footings of licensed banks projected at over US$1 trillion.

‘We are very encouraged to see the impressive growth of these two sectors of international business in 2004, despite the unforeseen burdens imposed by hurricane Ivan. Our service providers and their client base remain committed to the jurisdiction as evidenced by the strong licensing and registration activity in the final quarter,’ said Chairman Mr. Timothy Ridley.

‘The Authority will continue to liaise very closely with the local banking and insurance industries as they work through the difficulties of the post-Ivan recovery of the Islands.’

The Authority will continue to improve its risk-based approach to supervision and to enhance the regulatory regime where needed and appropriate. It is partnering with the private sector in working groups to assess the Insurance Law and Regulations, fees for trust companies and company managers, and how to best mitigate the risks to the jurisdiction due to abuse of unregulated Cayman Islands entities.

Workshops will be held to increase industry awareness of the Basel II measures and the implications for Cayman licensees. A comprehensive review of the domestic insurance industry will commence in the second half of 2005 once the impact of Ivan can be properly assessed.

On the international front, the Authority anticipates final publication of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) assessment in February. It will actively pursue membership of the International Organization of Securities Commissions and completion of Memoranda of Understanding with qualified regulators.

As part of the Authority’s goal of increasing international understanding of financial services regulation in the jurisdiction and strengthening ties between the City of London and the Cayman Islands, Mr. Ridley will be the featured speaker at the joint Cayman Islands Investment Bureau/Cayman Islands Financial Services Association luncheon in the City later this month. He will highlight the role and work of the Authority, its approach to international initiatives and current industry trends.

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