Cayman rises in global financial index

The Cayman Islands has moved up 15 positions in the most recent Global Financial Centres Index.

Other notable rises include Bermuda which went up 17 places and the British Virgin Islands which moved up 13 places compared to the last ranking six months ago when all three offshore financial centers had dropped significantly in their rankings.

“The Cayman Islands was ranked at 54 in the last report published in September, and it is indeed very pleasing to see the significant move upwards to 39 in the rankings,” said Jude Scott, CEO of Cayman Finance.

Cayman Finance noted that the new ranking puts Cayman above a number of competing jurisdictions, including the Channel Islands, Bermuda and the Bahamas.

The Cayman Islands is the second highest ranked jurisdiction in the Latin America and Caribbean region, trailing only the British Virgin Islands, which is ranked at 34.

The Global Financial Centres Index is carried out twice a year and combines 105 objective factors from organizations such as the OECD and World Bank with the results of an online questionnaire completed by more than 2,000 financial professionals from around the world.

“The index is partly based on perception, and we therefore think that this is a positive reflection of how representatives of the world’s financial services industry view the Cayman Islands,” Mr. Scott said.

Only six months ago, after Cayman had dropped 11 places in the ranking, Cayman Finance criticized the methodology of the index. Gonzalo Jalles, at the time CEO of the association that represents Cayman’s financial services industry, said his organization welcomes “feedback from our customers as reflected in the survey, but we put very little confidence in the rest of the analysis.”

The Cayman Islands increased its rating to a score of 650 from 635. As in previous indexes, respondents from Western Europe gave Cayman significantly below average assessments, whereas responses from other regions in the world were more positive than the mean.

Given the ups and downs of Cayman’s performance in the indices, it was no surprise that the most recent report ranked it as one of seven centers in the top 40 that are “unpredictable” in terms of their high sensitivity to changes in the instrumental factors and subject to volatile survey assessments.

New York, London, Hong Kong and Singapore remain the four leading global financial centers. All four centers gained points and retained their relative ranks. New York remains the top center, though by only one point on the 1,000 point scale. Tokyo, in fifth place, is 32 points behind the leaders.