In light of the recent leak of the “Panama Papers” – shutting down tax havens and offshore financial centers has been the talk of the town lately.
This leak from a Panamanian law firm that primarily provided discreet financial services for the wealthy has brought renewed calls for a global clampdown on offshore financial activity.
These calls for crackdowns in light of the Panama Papers are nothing that we haven’t heard before. When the global financial crisis hit in 2008 governments the world over were looking for ways to access the billions in offshore bank accounts and investments. The difference this time is that world leaders and angry citizens are getting together to call for this change in the press, in demonstrations and on social media outlets.
The tax authorities in London have promised to investigate the Panama leak, but what is really spurning this change? Some would argue embarrassment. There has been very little that has changed on the legal level, but some have speculated that this increased public outcry is leading those that would hide their assests offshore to reconsider or face public fallout. One only needs to look at the recent resignation of the Icelandic Prime Minister to see how powerful the masses and public perception can be once things go “viral”.
It in the wake of all of this what does it mean for Cayman? It means we continue on. We make every effort to stick steadfastly to our due diligence practices and make sure to follow the rules and regulations to the letter. It is only by towing the line and remaining on the straight and narrow that we will weather the storm and come out on top of the pile. The fact that we, as a nation, have not been implicated at all in the “Panama Papers” speaks to the fact that we are on the right track.
Jeanette Totten is a Cayman Islands Real Estate Expert with over 40 years in the Industry. She is currently the President of CIREBA (Cayman Islands Real Estate Board Association). She was also the First Female President of CIREBA and has been re-elected three times. Her achievements in CIREBA include updating the Cayman MLS system to include the first ever, Broker reciprocity for Members.