The Cayman Islands are regarded as one of the world’s premier financial centers, consistently ranked in the top five. 47 of the world’s largest banks are currently registered in the Islands. They are also home to the world’s leading legal and accounting firms, including the big four. At December 2005, there were more than 70,000 companies registered in the Cayman Islands including 430 banks and trust companies, 720 captive insurance firms and more than 7,000 funds.
Jamaican independence from the United Kingdom in 1962 led to the Cayman Islands becoming a British Dependency. In 1966 landmark banking legislation, the Banks and Trust Companies Regulations Law, was passed by the Cayman Government. This was an early example of the Government invoking the Islands’ historic tax neutrality from Britain dating back to the eighteenth century.
The legislation was designed to encourage the banking industry and make the Islands attractive for offshore finance. Forty years later, Cayman is recognized as a sophisticated, well regulated and diverse finance center. It services both institutional and private sectors, and has developed strong cooperative links with the US and other countries.
In 1979 the Insurance Law was passed, facilitating amongst other things the formation of the captive insurance industry. The Islands are now the world’s second largest jurisdiction of choice for captive insurance. They are also a leading domicile for offshore hedge funds and mutual funds. Cayman is a popular center for structured financing and shipping and aircraft registries and a host to excellent trust and corporate services.
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The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory and enjoy a great deal of political stability. In turn, this has encouraged a stable banking environment. Factors such as the absence of taxation, the advanced legal system and the lack of exchange controls continue to keep the Cayman Islands in the top five largest banking and offshore financial service centers in the world.
English is the native language, and being located near to the US make the Cayman Islands a unique and appealing place to members of the international financial services community to be based.
The Islands offer other advantages for anyone wanting to do business. Government policies combined with a healthy economy have resulted in a high literacy rate and low unemployment, and a history of low inflation. Investment and strong market forces have produced a good modern infrastructure including telecommunications and transport networks, and education and health care systems.
The taxation regime is the leading motivator for personal and corporate investment in the Cayman Islands, backed by a Government guarantee that there will be no form of direct taxation for at least 30 years.
There is a demanding but supportive regulatory framework, designed to give confidence in the industry without being overly prescriptive. An innovative approach to legislation first attracted the financial services industry in the 1960’s. This same attitude continues to provide scope for the creation of new products and exploitation of international developments in financial services.
The financial services industry encourages and requires a well developed professional community. This community is much in evidence in the Cayman Islands, with established specialists in all areas of professional support based in the Islands.
There are specialist professional advisors in all aspects of the financial services industry working in the Cayman Islands. Having local knowledge as well as international experience, the companies and individuals working here can help to make your business a success.
eCayOnline.com is the premier resource for anyone wanting to do business in the Cayman Islands. Use the eCay Business Directory to find all the firms and advisors working within the financial services industry that you could need.
The Cayman Islands Stock Exchange is run by an independent private company owned by the Cayman Islands Government. It was launched in July 1997 in order to list the various specialist financial services products of Cayman. It has been expanded recently to include global depositary receipts, derivative warrants and Eurobonds. Over 900 issues have to date been approved for listing.
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eCayOnline.com carries a number of articles on the Financial Services in the Cayman Islands written especially for the site by people working within the field. Click on the article title to get the benefit of their experience.
eCayOnline.com has collected together a number of useful Cayman Islands investment and offshore jurisdiction websites you may find useful.