In the past two years, we have witnessed brokerages’ increasing preference for financial licences with simple procedures as a result of financial regulators tightening the application process and brokerages seeking multiple licences to service a wider range of clients. The Cayman Islands is growing to be one of the most popular offshore destinations for financial service providers and one of the leading financial centres in the world. Under its financial services regulator, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA), the Cayman Islands provides a broad range of financial services with an established legislative framework to cater to the needs of its international clients.
The CIMA provides licences under eight different sectors for companies looking to register with the jurisdiction, namely banking services, money services business, cooperative and building societies, trusts, corporate services, insurance, investment funds, and securities.
Required documentation for the application process varies across the types of licensing, but generally includes a detailed business plan of the company, CV of proposed shareholders and directors, police clearance certificates, and reference letters. Please visit CIMA or contact DesFran for more specific instructions.
Why Choose CIMA?
Compared to mainstream offshore jurisdictions like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom, Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) of Australia, and Financial Markets Authority (FMA) of New Zealand, the CIMA appears to be less renowned in the market.
However, the jurisdiction gained its solid reputation among investors due to its forward-thinking and flexible approach to regulations and policies. Key advantages like the absence of taxes, easy regulation or filing procedures, high speed and efficiency, low margin level, and good leverage ratio, make the CIMA attractive to brokerages looking to apply for or transfer licences.
Additionally, the Cayman Islands is widely recognised for its established and robust financial sector. The representation of leading international banks and the presence of Fortune 500 subsidiaries set the Cayman Islands apart from other offshore island destinations like Vanuatu, Seychelles, and Belize.
The financial hub is supported by reputable compliance and legal systems governed by the CIMA. The regulator has a rigorous anti-money laundering regime and strict regulatory frameworks for client capital protection, net asset requirements, and company management requirements. Through ongoing monitoring and extensive measures to report suspicious activity, the CIMA fosters a legitimate and transparent business environment for brokerages.
Other strengths including political and economic stability, low licensing costs, and high confidentiality continue to attract high-net-worth clients looking to invest in a safe environment.
Contact DesFran if your business wishes to learn more about the Cayman Islands and financial licensing.
Translated by Vicky Wang. This article first appeared in WeChat as a Chinese editorial.
About the Author
Alin Liu is Research Analyst in DesFran’s Strategic Communications and Research team. Alin has extensive knowledge in information search, mining, and analysis. With her wealth of experience in the finance industry, she has been researching and publishing market insights for DesFran’s clientele in China. Alin graduated from Yangzhou University with a Master’s degree.
Vicky Wang is Strategic Communications and Research Intern at DesFran. With a strong interest in global finance and economics, she produces articles covering corporate finance and regulations. Vicky is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Strategic & Management Consulting) with a double major in Economics at Emory University in the United States.