Jamaica has strong financial regulatory system - JIFSA
Chairman of the Jamaica International Financial Services Authority (JIFSA), Eric Crawford, says the country has a strong financial regulatory regime, which is compliant with international standards and procedures and retains the confidence of the global monitoring bodies.
The assurance comes in light of growing public interest in the recent leakage of confidential documents from Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca.
The 11.5 million documents, known as the 'Panama Papers' reveal information about the dealings of a number of high-level individuals worldwide with offshore financial centres.
With Jamaica moving to develop its own international financial centre, Crawford said measures have been put in place to ensure that the jurisdiction is in compliance with all international regulatory standards relating to transparency, due diligence, the exchange of information, and ongoing supervisory oversight.
Crawford said adjustments have been made to enhance tax transparency and further amendments are being made to incorporate law procedures to create a more open business environment.
He said Jamaica's high ranking by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is evidence of the country's commitment to transparency.
The Global Forum is the body responsible for implementing the internationally agreed standards on transparency and exchange of information in the area of taxation. It ensures that these high standards are in place around the world through its monitoring and peer review activities.
Crawford said that Jamaica is ranked at the same level as the United States, and regionally only the Cayman Islands enjoy equal rating.
This, he said, is largely due to legislative changes that have been made, including the Income Tax (Amendment) Act, 2015, to ensure that Jamaica is not seen as a "jurisdiction that facilitates tax evasion."