Cayman Islands Currency

As of 1972, The Cayman Islands replaced the Jamaican currency with their own, referred to as CI$. The Cayman Islands dollar (CI$) is on a fixed exchange rate with the US$ - .00 CI equals .25 US. Both currencies are readily accepted through out the islands. The exchange will be automatically calculated for you.

Banking in the Cayman Islands

One significant factor in deciding to invest and/or reside in the Cayman Islands is the fact that there is no direct taxation whatsoever. Reputable legal and accounting professionals are readily available to advise you on your offshore investments.

Ranked as the fifth largest offshore financial center in the world, the Cayman Islands is also the second largest captive insurance center. The number of banks registered in the Cayman Islands is fast approaching 600 (with 47 of the world's 50 top rated banks) and close to 400 captive insurance companies. Also, over 34,000 companies are shown in the Cayman Islands Registry of Companies. This is largely due to the country's tax laws and confidentiality legislation. Further, there is a 30 year Government guarantee against any direct taxation including capital gains tax, property taxes, inheritance tax, or withholding taxes.

As a result, many corporations as well as individuals are moving their assets offshore to protect themselves from unreasonable tax burdens and the threat of unfounded lawsuits currently raging throughout the United States.

Absolute confidentiality is mandated by law with violations punishable by fine or imprisonment. The Cayman Islands Government has, however, arranged to cooperate with foreign governments that can prove (with a large degree of certainty) that the funds in question are the fruit of criminal action such as drug trafficking. It should be noted that, as there are no taxes in Cayman, tax avoidance is not considered a crime and, therefore, the local authorities have no obligation to divulge any information in tax related cases.

While Hollywood film makers insist on perpetuating the notion that Cayman is the world's capital for money laundering, one visit to any local financial institution will convince you otherwise.

As a matter of fact, financial service professionals are very cooperative with regulatory authorities in a mutual effort to uphold integrity within the industry. There is a commitment to "know your client" and, thus, avoid any future problems which would arise from a lack of due diligence. Prospective clients are asked to supply the bank references, a passport for identification and banks must refuse to accept cash deposits in excess of US,000.

Following the merger of the banking supervision and insurance departments to form the Financial Services Supervision Department (FSSD), and in response to growth and maturation of the financial industry, a Monetary Authority was slated to handle many of the functions typical of a Central Bank.

The FSSD controls the licensing, ownership and daily supervision of licensed institutions while the Monetary Authority will oversee the FSSD, the Currency Board and, eventually the Cayman Stock Exchange, a newly developed cooperation body presently supervised by the Stock Exchange Authority (SEA).

The SEA is comprised of the Financial Secretary, the Attorney General, the Inspector of Financial Service and two members appointed by the Governor on recommendation by the Financial Secretary. Cayman's new stock exchange has the potential for around-the clock trading to accommodate trades in all time zones.