2016 November: The Cook Islands is complying with its international obligations in relation to anti money laundering and the countering of terrorist financing and transparency and the exchange of financial information to combat tax evasion. It continues to work with international organisations such as the FATF and the OECD as it is committed to providing financial services in accordance with international standards and best practice.
The following summarises the Cook Islands achievements to date in meeting international regulatory standards.
According to the recently published Wealth X 2016 report on Family Wealth Transfer (the “Report”), the world’s “ultra wealthy population” (“UHNWIs”), being those individuals with a net worth of at least USD30m, has grown to 212,615 with a combined wealth of USD30 trillion. Despite continued global economic uncertainties and geopolitical events, these numbers continue to grow year on year. However what is more astounding than the levels of wealth being generated are the amounts that will be transferred to the next generations over the coming decades.
In June of this year the Cook Islands passed the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility Act 2016 (the “Act”). The Act sees the formalising of many years of effort by several organisations, including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, as well as certain Pacific Island states, to provide Pacific Island states with direct support to finance immediate disaster relief and advisory services on the financial management of natural disasters.
Tamatoa Jonassen, CEO of the Cook Islands Financial Services Development Authority,
Ora was fully represented at a STEP conference held in Auckland, New Zealand earlier this year. Of most interest were discussions around the Clayton case, a matrimonial relationship property, which from observations has turned the spotlight on where New Zealand Trust law stands on some fundamental issues, more particularly whether creditors now have wider access to reach into trust assets as result of this case.
The Vaughan Road Property Trust (“the Trust”) was settled by Mr. Clayton in 1999 when he was still married to Mrs.
Kia Orana from the Cook Islands,
New Safety Video
It’s not often that the Cook Islands play host to supermodels of the Sports Illustrated genre, but that’s what happened recently on the beautiful Island of Aitutaki in the Cook Islands. While it raised a storm of controversy as to the use of bikini clad women to promote air travel safety, it does generate welcomed publicity for our tourism industry. If you haven’t yet seen it, follow the link:
As part of its long term strategy to grow the international financial services industry through new services and new client markets, the Parliament of the Cook Islands recently passed the Captive Insurance Act 2013. This Act follows the introduction of Foundations legislation in June 2012.
The Minister responsible when introducing the legislation stated that “The Government has made a commitment to diversifying our economy by encouraging, strengthening and promoting our financial services sector. The passing of the Captive Insurance Act will increase business opportunities and is an important step in the growth of this key
industry to our economy.”