Thoughts From the Cayman Islands: Bank, Banks, Banks

During our vacation last week, we spent some time on Grand Cayman. Aside from the excellent snorkeling and diving, the Cayman Islands are quite interesting from a financial perspective. For example…

According to our local tour guide, the Cayman Islands are home to 550 banks, only 12-14 of which are required for local business. The balance are engaged in offshore banking.

In terms of the local economy, banking is (not surprisingly) the #1 industry, followed by tourism and insurance. And with an average per capita income of $42k, the Cayman Islands have the highest standard of living in the Caribbean.

Interestingly, the government’s primary source of income is indirect taxation, including an import duty of 5-20% on nearly all goods imported to the island, as well as work permit fees for expatriates working in the Caymans.

Finally, Hurricane Ivan passed alongside Grand Cayman as a Category 5 hurricane in 2004 and, according to our guide, 95% of all properties were either damaged or destroyed. While WikiPedia pegs the number slightly lower at 80%, the damage was still clearly evident during our visit nearly four years later.

9 Responses to “Thoughts From the Cayman Islands: Bank, Banks, Banks”

  1. Anonymous

    So, Where is there a place to go to find the best ranked banking and investment services institutions in the Caymans??? Any comments appreciated and will save me a bunch of time, Thanks in advance

  2. Anonymous

    This guy who is writing about Cayman National Bank is ObVIOUSLY a scammer. There has never been any such article on Reuters nor have they been voted ‘the worst bank in the world.’ I am an international customer and have never had a problem with them. This guy who is saying Cayman National Bank is the worst and that it’s is closing is a FRAUD. Don’t believe these lies. He should be prosectued for defamation of reputation. He probably works for a competing bank in the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands government holds large deposits with Cayman National Bank and this bank is the ONLY bank in the Cayman Islands to present on all 3 islands.

    Scammers are so disgusting.

  3. Anonymous

    Recently there was an article which appeared in reutors about Cayman National Bank.

    The bank has had bad customer service, bad publicity and in a poll of over 25,000 customers the bank has been voted the worst bank in the Cayman Islands.

    Customers have complained about getting dinged with service charges that were not authorized, overdrawn accounts, loss of funds and absolutely no assistance from staff when they inquired about their investments losing money without explanation.

    As a result the poll voted Cayman national bank as being the worst bank in the world, and with offices in several offshore jurisdictions, this is not surprising.

    This has caused many investors and depositors who hold funds with Cayman National Bank to move their funds to other banks in the island.

    Experts believe the bank is nearing closure and any deposits would not be covered by their insurance policy.

    This is a sure sign that one must be very careful when dealing with a bank that has a foul reputation.

    Offshore News
    CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK – WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE
    Posted: 2008-04-30 by Johnny [send email]
    VOTED WORST BANK OF THE YEAR BY CUSTOMERS

    Complaint Rating:
    CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK HAS RECENTLY BEEN VOTED AS THE WORST BANK TO DEAL WITH IN THE WORLD.

    BAD CUSTOMER SERVVICE – CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK CAYMAN ISLANDS
    Posted: 2008-04-29 by Troy Mathers [send email]
    CAYMAN ISLANDS – BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE – BAD FOREIGN EXCHANGE RIPP OFF

    Complaint Rating:
    CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK IS A RIPP OFF. DO NOT EXCHANGE YOUR FOREIGN CURRENCY OR OPEN ANY ACCOUNTS WITH THIS BANK. IT HAS RECENTLY BEEN VOTED THE ISLANDS WORST BANK

    Search results: 5 matching “cayman national”
    Cayman National :: Homepage -WORST BANK OFFSHORE (complaint)
    Posted: 2008-04-29 by Dr. Leo Brown [send email]
    WORST BANK CAYMAN ISLANDS-Cayman National :: Homepage
    CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK IS THE WORST OFFSHORE BANK IN CAYMAN ISLANDS – Cayman National :: Bank was recently voted the worst offshore bank in the Cayman Islands.

    WARNING: The Government of the Cayman Islands have a Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) which is responsible for licensing…

    CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK – WORST BANK IN CAYMAN ISLANDS (complaint)
    Posted: 2008-04-29 by ebanks [send email]
    BAD SERVICE – CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK SERVICE IS THE MOST UNRELIABLE
    KNOWN AS ONE OF THE WORST OFFSHORE BANKS IN THE ISLAND – CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK IS THE WORST OFFSHORE BANK IN CAYMAN ISLANDS – Cayman National :: Bank was recently voted the worst offshore bank in the Cayman Islands.

    WARNING: The Government of the Cayman Islands have a Financial…

    CAYMAN ANTIONAL BANK VOTED WORST BANK IN CAYMAN ISLANDS (complaint)
    Posted: 2008-04-29 by Samantha Ebanks [send email]
    CAYMAN NATIONAL IS WORST BANK IN CAYMAN ISLANDS
    CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK IS THE WORST OFFSHORE BANK IN CAYMAN ISLANDS – Cayman National :: Bank was recently voted the worst offshore bank in the Cayman Islands.

    WARNING: The Government of the Cayman Islands have a Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) which is responsible for licensing…

    WORST BANK OFFSHORE WARNIGN (complaint)
    Posted: 2008-04-29 by Berkers [send email]
    WARNING CAYMAN NATIONAL BANKING SERVICE
    BAD SERVICE – VOTED WORST BANK ON ISLANDS

    CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK – WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE
    Posted: 2008-04-30 by Johnny [send email]
    VOTED WORST BANK OF THE YEAR BY CUSTOMERS

    Complaint Rating:
    CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK HAS RECENTLY BEEN VOTED AS THE WORST BANK TO DEAL WITH IN THE WORLD.

    BAD CUSTOMER SERVVICE – CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK CAYMAN ISLANDS
    Posted: 2008-04-29 by Troy Mathers [send email]
    CAYMAN ISLANDS – BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE – BAD FOREIGN EXCHANGE RIPP OFF

    Complaint Rating:
    CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK IS A RIPP OFF. DO NOT EXCHANGE YOUR FOREIGN CURRENCY OR OPEN ANY ACCOUNTS WITH THIS BANK. IT HAS RECENTLY BEEN VOTED THE ISLANDS WORST BANK

    Search results: 5 matching “cayman national”
    Cayman National :: Homepage -WORST BANK OFFSHORE (complaint)
    Posted: 2008-04-29 by Dr. Leo Brown [send email]
    WORST BANK CAYMAN ISLANDS-Cayman National :: Homepage
    CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK IS THE WORST OFFSHORE BANK IN CAYMAN ISLANDS – Cayman National :: Bank was recently voted the worst offshore bank in the Cayman Islands.

    WARNING: The Government of the Cayman Islands have a Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) which is responsible for licensing…

    CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK – WORST BANK IN CAYMAN ISLANDS (complaint)
    Posted: 2008-04-29 by ebanks [send email]
    BAD SERVICE – CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK SERVICE IS THE MOST UNRELIABLE
    KNOWN AS ONE OF THE WORST OFFSHORE BANKS IN THE ISLAND – CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK IS THE WORST OFFSHORE BANK IN CAYMAN ISLANDS – Cayman National :: Bank was recently voted the worst offshore bank in the Cayman Islands.

    WARNING: The Government of the Cayman Islands have a Financial…

    CAYMAN ANTIONAL BANK VOTED WORST BANK IN CAYMAN ISLANDS (complaint)
    Posted: 2008-04-29 by Samantha Ebanks [send email]
    CAYMAN NATIONAL IS WORST BANK IN CAYMAN ISLANDS
    CAYMAN NATIONAL BANK IS THE WORST OFFSHORE BANK IN CAYMAN ISLANDS – Cayman National :: Bank was recently voted the worst offshore bank in the Cayman Islands.

    WARNING: The Government of the Cayman Islands have a Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) which is responsible for licensing…

    WORST BANK OFFSHORE WARNIGN (complaint)
    Posted: 2008-04-29 by Berkers [send email]
    WARNING CAYMAN NATIONAL BANKING SERVICE
    BAD SERVICE – VOTED WORST BANK ON ISLANDS

  4. Anonymous

    Is everything there still so outrageously expensive? I remember getting mineral water from the ship, my cabin steward advised me to do so and I did not regret to this moment.

  5. Anonymous

    Hmm…a Cuban cigar? That’s probably the one thing I would ever want to smoke. Just for that “I did that once” feeling.

    Although you might have possibly violated the US trade embargo against Cuba. 🙂

  6. Anonymous

    Ah, Grand Caymans, I went right before the hurricane. This is probably politically incorrect or something, but I went and smoked a real Cuban cigar. I don’t even smoke, but it was kind of “when else will I be able to do this” type of thing.

    Did you get a massage from a Stingray?

    Or eat Turtle soup?

    Man, I don’t think I did anything to help the Earth in the Caymans… Hope you didn’t either! 😀

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