Financial Services Minister Hon. Wayne Panton says Cayman is not and will not create a public register for beneficial owners of local assets.
This as he defends legislative changes heading to the LA to create a centralised platform to access beneficial ownership information.
Mr Panton makes it clear those change does not mean a free for all on beneficial owners’ information.
“We are not going to have a central register and it is not going to be publicly available,” Mr Panton says.
He says Cayman’s electronic platform to access beneficial ownership is not the creation of a public register.
“It requires companies to maintain beneficial ownership information, as they already do, but they put that in a separate register within the company’s internal records,” he adds.
Access to that information, he says, will only be available through a central authority after it is demonstrated the information is needed for serious crime investigations.
“You know it is not a fishing exercise to understand who owns a particular piece of property or who owns a particular company just for the sake of knowing that,” Mr Panton says.
Mr Panton says consultation on the changes is ongoing and its open to public comment and he does not anticipate any push back.
“I do not think anybody expects an absolute right of privacy to protect their information from disclosure in any circumstances,” he adds.
The legislative changes creating the platform will be debated in the next sitting of the LA.
Cayman and other overseas territories are facing a significant hurdle in the beneficial ownership challenge as UK legislators are pushing for amendments under criminal financing legislation forcing OTs to create public registers.