Our Jurisdiction at a glance
The Cayman Islands are located in the western Caribbean Sea. They are the peaks of a massive
underwater ridge, on the edge of the Cayman Trench, 8000 feet deep. The islands
lie in the centre of the Caribbean south of Cuba and North West of Jamaica.
The Cayman Islands - often referred to as "the Caymans", "Cayman Islands", or
just "Cayman" -were first sighted by Christopher Columbus on May 10,
1503 during his fourth and final voyage to the New World. The islands, along with
nearby Jamaica, were captured by the Spanish, and then ceded to England in 1670
under the Treaty of Madrid. They were governed as a single colony until 1962
when the Cayman Islands became a British Overseas Territory and Jamaica became
an independent commonwealth realm.
The Cayman Islands is listed by the UN Special Committee as one of the last non-self governing
territories. A nineteen-seat Legislative Assembly is elected by the people
every four years to handle domestic affairs. A Governor is appointed by the
British government to represent the monarch.
The economy of the Cayman Islands was once centred on the turtling trade.
However, this industry began to disappear in the twentieth century and tourism
and financial services became the economic mainstays during the 1970s. As of
December 2016, just over 100,000 companies were incorporated on the Cayman
Islands including 184 banks and trust companies, 740 captive insurance companies and more than 10,500 funds.
The Cayman Islands financial services industry encompasses banking, mutual
funds, captive insurance, vessel and aircraft registration, companies and
Throughout the global community the Cayman Islands is recognized as a
sophisticated, mature and diverse financial centre. As a premier financial
services jurisdiction, Cayman attracts the world's leading accounting, legal
and investment firms, and the banking industry remains a cornerstone of
Adherence to the regulatory standards of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision
is fundamental to the regulatory approach, and the Cayman Islands is an active
member of the Basel Committee's Offshore Group of Bank Supervisors.