The reputation of the Cayman Islands in the foreign mainstream press is still more a reflection of the 1980s or that of Hollywood than an accurate description of the level of regulation and the type of business activity in the territory, organisers of a training event for financial services professionals said.
“Once a country has a bad reputation it gets really difficult to back paddle on that,” said Angela Mele of Bodden Compliance & Training, who hosted the session “Key Messages” on Friday, 9 November at the Grand Pavilion.
In light of the reputational problems, “unfortunately we are not [always] getting the message out to the industry professionals”, Ms Mele said.
The training session, developed in cooperation with Denise Gower of Fountainhead, was therefore designed to provide finance professionals with “comfort in explaining how Cayman works and its role in the global economy when speaking with the media, clients, potential clients, stakeholders and other members of the public”.
The 20 participants at the seminar looked at the factors that contributed to the negative perception of Cayman in the mainstream press, some of the myths surrounding tax havens and relevant local regulation and international cooperation in terms of anti-money laundering, criminal investigations and tax information exchange.
The seminar further touched on the facts and key messages surrounding transparency and privacy, the benefits of offshore financial centres to the global economy and typical uses of Cayman structures.
A final debate based on a case study split the participants into two groups and contrasted the arguments found in the mainstream press with facts about Cayman’s regulatory regime and business activity.