Legislative Assembly takes up construction, financial services bills

The government will resume parliamentary meetings at the Legislative Assembly

Legislation aimed at improving the quality of local construction and Cayman’s financial services industry are due to come before the Legislative Assembly in what lawmakers expect will be a “brief” meeting next month. 

The assembly is due to reconvene Aug. 12. Premier Alden McLaughlin confirmed Tuesday that the meeting will go ahead as scheduled, with the legislature set to meet again sometime in September. 

There have been no official pronouncements regarding when government intends to bring a redrawn voting map to assembly members for approval, but it was not expected to occur during the August meeting. 

Builders bill 

The oft-debated Builders Bill is expected to reach the Legislative Assembly floor for a debate during next month’s meeting. The proposal seeks to update legislation from 2007 that was never brought into force following passage in the Legislative Assembly. The primary purpose of the Builders Law is to ensure proper qualifications of construction firms. The bill and accompanying regulations will create registration categories, from general contractors to tradesmen such as plumbers, roofers and masons, with a sliding scale of requirements and fees. 

General contractors – businesses qualified to engage in construction, and civil contractors – businesses that build roads, docks, bridges and utilities infrastructure – must meet strict criteria for experience and qualifications. Smaller or less experienced businesses can apply for a separate category of “building contractor” for construction of commercial, industrial or residential buildings less than 25,000 square feet or three stories. A fourth category of “residential contractor” is for businesses that construct or renovate buildings comprising four homes or less. 

The bill, if passed, will establish a Builder’s Board responsible for maintaining a register of business entities and qualified individuals in the construction field. 

Businesses will be required to prove they have the necessary number of qualified individuals on staff to qualify in the category for which they are applying to be registered. Individual contractors and tradesmen will be required to demonstrate they have necessary qualifications before they can be licensed under the legislation. 

Financial services 

Two bills made public earlier this month, if passed, will enable Cayman-based funds and managers connected with the European Union to elect a regime of prudential regulation consistent with the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive. 

The bills, which seek to amend the Mutual Funds Law and the Securities Investment Business Law, may mean that the Cayman Islands qualifies for a so-called “third country passport” under the European directive. 

The passport would allow Cayman funds to be marketed to professional investors across the EU, rather than through private placement in each EU member state individually. 

The European Securities and Markets Authority was to assess Cayman’s regulatory regime and its supervisory cooperation with EU regulators to provide advice to the European Commission by July 22 on which jurisdictions should be considered for a “third country passport.” 

The proposed amendments to the Mutual Funds Law introduce the concept of a “regulated EU connected fund,” which is either managed from or marketed in a member state of the European Economic Area and elects to fall within the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority’s regulated EU connected fund regime. The AIFMD regime applies to both open- and closed-end funds. 

The bill amending the Securities Investment Business Law creates the “EU connected manager” designation for individuals who fall within the existing scope of the law, who conduct management, marketing or depositary activities as defined by the EU directive and who voluntarily decide to fall within CIMA’s new EU connected manager regime. 

The government will resume parliamentary meetings at the Legislative Assembly next month.
The government will resume parliamentary meetings at the Legislative Assembly next month.