The Banking Division was responsible for the supervision of 125 banks as at the end of December 2019 (September 2019: 132 and December 2018: 133). These are comprised of 6 retail and 3 non-retail Category ‘A’ banks, and 116 Category ‘B’ banks, portraying a sound and resilient banking sector in a challenging global financial environment. The majority of these banks are branches (77) and subsidiaries (33) of international banks from North America, Europe, and South America, as shown below.
As at December 2018, total international assets and liabilities (cross-border positions in all currency and domestic positions in foreign currency) were reported as US$672 billion and US$674 billion, respectively (December 2017: US$915 billion and US$874 billion, respectively). The jurisdiction is now ranked twelfth internationally based on the value of cross-border assets - US$652 billion (December 2017: US$915 billion) - and twelfth in terms of cross-border liabilities - US$622 billion (December 2017: US$874 billion), highlighting the role of the Cayman Islands as a financial intermediary.
Cross-Border Assets and Liabilities (Updated Annually)
Of the international assets and liabilities booked by the 133 banks as at December 2018, US$18 billion and US$49 billion of assets and liabilities, respectively, were booked in the domestic economy with other legally domiciled licensed entities considered as resident entities.
Domestic Assets and Liabilities in Foreign Currency (Updated Annually)
A reputation of sensible regulation comparable to other international financial centres coupled with a competent workforce of lawyers, bankers, and accountants, provides the base on which Cayman continues to build its clientele. Licensees represent over 40 countries from across the globe.
The Cayman Islands is recognised as one of the top 10 international financial centres in the world, with over 40 of the top 50 banks holding licences here. This is a testament to the worldwide recognition of the quality of Cayman's financial Industry. Over 80 percent of US$674 billion on deposit and booked through the Cayman Islands, represents inter-bank bookings between onshore banks and their Cayman Islands branches or subsidiaries. These institutions present a very low risk profile for money laundering.