A bill to clarify Cayman’s trusts law and a bill to facilitate the processing of cheques in the local banking system will go before legislators at the next sitting of the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, April 3.

The Trusts (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Bills of Exchange (Amendment) Bill, 2019 will be debated during the fourth meeting of the 2018-2019 session.

The trusts bill makes amendments that improve the operation of the Trusts Law (2018 Revision) to enhance Cayman’s competitiveness, the Ministry of Financial Services said in a press release.

It achieves this by improving the Grand Court’s administration of trusts, to provide greater clarity and certainty for court proceedings involving users of Cayman Islands trust products.

The bill is a commercial enhancement stemming from a Cayman Islands Law Reform Commission report on Cayman’s trusts law. It is supported by the Cayman Islands Judiciary and the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners Cayman, the ministry said.

The planned changes to the law will bring Cayman’s legislation in line with rules established in other jurisdictions, for example, by setting out the circumstances in which the court can correct mistakes made by trustees without the need to establish a breach of fiduciary duty.

The amendments also extend more flexible powers to the court to vary trusts. They replace the existing requirement that an arrangement must be shown to be for the benefit of minors and the unborn with the less onerous requirement of establishing “no detriment”.

Other proposed changes affect sections of the trusts law that aim to exclude the adverse impact of foreign law linked to the settlor of a trust and add the protection to any beneficiary.

The Bills of Exchange (Amendment) Bill, 2019 facilitates an automatic clearing house system to more efficiently clear cheques, known as bills of exchange, between local retail banks.

The amendments alter the 1997 version of the Bills of Exchange Law to allow banks to recognise digital images of cheques as if they were the original cheque. This removes the need to physically deliver individual cheques and speeds up the clearing process.

Other amendments tabled for debate on Wednesday include changes to Proceeds of Crime Law and the Monetary Authority Law to address certain deficiencies identified by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force review of Cayman’s anti-money laundering regime.

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