UK legislator to address controversial public register law during visit to Cayman Islands

UK public registry

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the United Kingdom’s minister with responsibility for the British Overseas Territories  will discuss the controversial move to impose public registers of beneficial ownership, among other things, when he visits the Cayman Islands this week.

Lord Ahmad, who will be visiting the territory for the first time on Wednesday, will be meeting with Primer Alden McLaughlin members of Cabinet and other officials during his one-day visit on Wednesday.

During his visit, Lord Ahmad will also address matters related to hurricane preparedness.

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Real reason for visit

However, Cayman News online reports that the real reason for the visit is the controversy over the passage in the British parliament of the recent Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, which imposes public registers on the territories. “We strongly value the relationship between the UK and the overseas territories and will work closely with the overseas territories governments to find a solution which works for everyone,” said Lord Ahmad.

Teleconference with PM Theresa May

According to a Downing Street spokesperson in a release from the UK government, Lord Ahmad and Prime Minister Theresa May engaged in a conference call Thursday with the premier and other leaders of the territories to discuss the company ownership transparency.

“The prime minister spoke about the recent passage of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act. She said that she understood that the cross-party amendment to this legislation that would require the overseas territories to create public registers was a matter of great concern for the leaders and that she was conscious of the strong reactions the issue had provoked in their territories,” the UK official stated.

The UK government official is also scheduled to visit RCIPS Air Operations to thank them for their work in Turks and Caicos Islands.  

“The UK has provided critical aid and support across the region to assist in recovery from last year’s widespread devastation, and we can already see this help from the UK has made a real difference on the ground,” Lord Ahmad said in a release from the governor’s office. 

“However, there’s more that needs to be done. We will continue to work extremely closely with the British Overseas Territories, as well as the rest of the Caribbean, to make sure that the region has plans in place to prepare for, and better withstand, future hurricanes,” he said.