Butterfield Group has stated that it welcomes proposed changes to the laws governing the disclosure of confidential information in the Cayman Islands.

Last month, the government released a bill to repeal the 40-year old Confidential Relationships (Preservation) Law in favor of a new law outlined in the Confidential Information Disclosure Bill, 2016.

The bill eliminates criminal penalties for the disclosure of confidential information in favor of the courts assessing liabilities for breaches of confidence under common law and the rules of equity.

Michael Collins, Butterfield Group’s chief executive officer, said the proposed legislation will bring Cayman’s confidentiality laws in line with those of other common law jurisdictions, and will enhance the country’s reputation as a progressive, cooperative and transparent international financial center.”

The proposed law would retain a mechanism for institutions and individuals to seek advance court approval for disclosures, which Butterfield said removes ambiguity around the obligations of foreign companies with Cayman Islands operations to furnish information to regulators.

“We view the change as an important and positive development for the Cayman banking industry, in which many of the larger players, Butterfield included, have significant operations in other locations and are therefore subject to the laws of multiple jurisdictions,” Mr. Collins said. “Greater alignment of the approach to and mechanisms for the disclosure of confidential information will redound to the benefit of the Cayman Islands, and we welcome the changes proposed.”