‘Bermuda Focused On Extending Lead’

February 19, 2012

The Bermuda Government released a statement in response to recent comments made by the Cayman Islands’ Premier about Bermuda.

Cayman Premier McKeeva Bush is reported as saying said that while Bermuda has been the champion of the insurance and reinsurance industry, the Cayman Islands was now a better choice and could grow “without the malice, without the inhibitions of race, without the inhibitions of transport.”

Premier Bush said Cayman was actually taking action while Bermuda was only still talking about making changes. “In the mid Atlantic they say they ‘may’ reduce some fees; we have reduced fees.”

“They are still talking about their immigration policy and make long statements but I say this boldly – while Bermuda has been the champion, be assured that we can grow. We here can do it without the malice, without the inhibitions of race, without the inhibitions of transport,” he said.

“My rating is still AA3 rating – what is theirs?” he said, an apparent reference to the downgrade of Bermuda’s sovereign credit rating last year.

Premier Paula Cox said this evening, “Our Government does not and has never rested on its laurels, but constantly seeks to press the envelope and to march relentlessly forward. Only the naïve would be foolish enough to count Bermuda out. You cannot seriously hope to operate a credible, successful, premier international centre without being reputationally sound and intellectually nimble and innovative. That continues to be a hallmark of our success.”

The Premier continued, “Bermuda is focused on extending its lead, while Cayman speaks about closing the gap. Our destination is far beyond our borders and we have the infrastructure and the talent to make it happen. It should be pointed out that Bermuda continues to introduce initiatives to ensure that we include Bermudians in the path for success of our jurisdiction. Yet, we do not take our reputation for granted nor do we rely on past successes. So we work tirelessly and continuously.

“We focus on strategic alliances with our business partners. In this way we enhance our enviable reputation by strengthening our relationships with the European Union, UK and US jurisdictions. And by strengthening our regulations to satisfy the global regulatory agencies, and enacting business-friendly legislation, then it is unlikely that this initiative will represent a serious threat to Bermuda’s existing reinsurance market in the short term.

“Furthermore, the Bermuda marketplace is known globally as a centre of excellence in the area of reinsurance underwriting. Advances in the technical pricing of risk; the creation of alternative forms of capital such as sidecars, regulatory innovation; and a series of other developments including strong sovereign ratings; have combined to make Bermuda one of the top three reinsurance centres of the world. We are known as the risk capital of the world.

“Additionally, the credibility of our jurisdiction is reflected in the strength of its international relationships with those organisations that are shaping the future course of the reinsurance industry. Thanks to such connections, Bermuda plays a leadership role in assisting with the development of the world’s risk industry.

“I think it’s important to point out that recently Ramon Fernandez, Chair of the Financial Stability Board [FSB] and Secretary of the Treasury, Ministry of Economy, Industry and Employment, France sent a letter informing me of their evaluation exercise relating to ‘Global adherence to international cooperation and information exchange standards’. In the letter he states and I quote:

‘I am writing to inform you that Bermuda is one of the jurisdictions that was included in the initial pool for evaluation, since it ranks highly in financial importance. I am pleased to note that, according to publicly available information, Bermuda already demonstrates sufficiently strong adherence to international cooperation and information exchange standards and therefore, no further evaluation is necessary under the FSB’s current initiative.’

“This is high praise indeed for a small jurisdiction that manages to stand toe to toe with giants.”

Premier Cox concluded, “Bermuda has never adopted an isolationist position – quite the contrary. Instead, we favour collaboration and assistance, whether to help territories in need with technical support and in terms of disaster assistance. We do not adopt a selfish approach that: ‘now we are okay- let’s pull up the ladder’. That is why, as Vice Chair of the OECD Global Forum Steering Committee, we have acted as an advocate for others, specifically smaller island domiciles.

“However make no mistake we are fearless in representing our national interest and while we are principles-based, when we speak to businesses owners that are attracted to Bermuda because of what we have achieved, whether on Solvency II equivalence or our quality reputation, we do not hide our light under a bushel and encourage those businesses who seek to re-base here to know that they will be welcomed.

“We are principled, yet we will continue to be nimble and innovative in protecting Bermuda’s turf and our national interests and to demonstrate that to choose Bermuda is to make a wise choice for a domicile that is credible, reputationally sound and prudent.”

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Comments (38)

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  1. Tommy Chong says:

    Hey Cayman we got rid of our ewart brown & hopefully we’ll see better days since he’s left. Your ewart, “McKeeva Bush” is still the premier & he’s talking trash about our gem in the atlantic when he’s got skeletons in his closet.




    One other thing that IB businesses may not know about cayman I’d like to point out is THE WHOLE ISLAND IS PURE MARSHLAND! Every time a little hurricane passes by your IB professionals are up to their ears in ocean. On the other hand Bermuda is close to hurricane proof with strong foundation just like the majority of the locals here.

    • LaVerne Furbert says:

      Tommy Chong, what do you mean “we got rid of Ewart Brown”?
      Dr. Brown promised to serve as Premier for one term. “we” did not get rid of Dr. Brown.

      • Ryan says:

        No, a little bit of intervention from the UK “got rid” of Dr. Brown.

      • Tommy Chong says:

        Dr. Brown promised? We all know what he can do with his empty promises. If he saw it opportune to stay in another term he would have pushed it as he pushed every other action on the rest of plp while they sat on their hands. Why this was I don’t know.

        Ewart felt the heat & got out of the kitchen before getting a public & UK roasting & left the rest of plp picking the pieces up.

        LaVerne you seem to admire Ewart. Why is this? What gain has he given us in Bermuda? PLP have made many blunders but letting brown step in was the worst & most detrimental to where we are now. Why did plp ministers let this happen? Just like how many licks it takes to get to the centre of a tootsie pop. THE WORLD WILL NEVER KNOW! but you & some of the other plp ministers might so care to share?

    • Tommy Chong says:

      I was quite amused at the one & only reply I got from this same post on a cayman site that I had to post it here unadulterated. “I think you will find thatvthere has been a building boom in Cayman of extremely high level hurricane proof residential and commercial real estate all without stone roofs to fall on you. It is not built on marsh, but on good solid ground and MARSH. Even Appleby ( from Bermuda) is building new offices here.” Good solid ground and MARSH? LMAO

      For those who don’t know all Cayman’s marshes are right at sea level & are supposed to be protected but are highly developed. So if you have a house on marsh in cayman it will cost you for yearly damages & also your contributing to the destruction of an ecosystem.

      Hey, zane I think you should move out of Bermuda & set up shop in Cayman. You’ll fit right in down there.

      BTW all those who have had a stone roof fall on there heads in Bermuda say I. tweet tweet tweet. What’s that? tweet tweet tweet. Oh thats just our protected tree frogs whistling.

    • LOL (original TM*) says:

      “Without the malice, without the inhibitions of race, without the inhibitions of transport.” –

      Many even in Bermuda feel this way. We may have gotten rid of E Brown but his legacy of hate and revenge fill our shores every day. Be honest with your self and you too will see that we have not done anything to help each other out of our race baiting “Big Conversation” and all it has only made things worse in the area of race. Also say what you want but there are to many incidences where foreigners are made to feel unwelcome it is unfortunate that one demographic and party more than an other support this behavior (I concede this is my opinion based on observations although in some circumstances I can agree with i.e. construction workers for example). I would bet my life savings which isn’t much that the anti Pilipino graffiti found not that long ago was not done by anyone inclined to support the OBA or UBP for that matter. Race has been used as weapon for a long time here when will we a society lead the world in this area? We are not that big a place and life is too short to be so hateful. Maybe those that say they want to “Fix” the racial issues in Bermuda can think about that as in my opinion they tend to make things worse, maybe the good intention theory is at play here?

      As far as transport issues this just points to money wastes and/or unqualified manager meaning no people skills or a need to revisit the bargaining agreement and/or review the company policies.

      In essences with your post above you just shot the messenger without addressing the meet of what he said.

      LOL “a broken clock is still right twice a day.”

      • Tommy Chong says:

        Messenger! Is that what you think the Cayman Premier is? I regret to inform you that McKeeva Bush is no messenger he’s a con man playing the coconut game. His & Cayman’s transgressions are the ball & Cayman, McKeeva & Bermuda are the three coconuts. The transgression ball starts under McKeeva’s coconut & round round he goes with the three & when he stops which coconut is it under? Should still be McKeeva’s right? Wrong! Is it under Caymans? Nope not under there! Hey look, its under Bermuda’s! How he do that! Is it MAGIC! No, Just distraction & diversion.

        Your would be messenger has played you LOL. He’s focused on the slight transgressions of Bermuda to take notice away from the blaring transgressions of him & his nation.

        And thats how a con plays the coconut game!

        • LOL (original TM*) says:

          And you addressed what in my post?! Right more bullets fly’n…………


  2. Cayman will always play Catchup says:

    This guy, who is under fire and under investigation tries to change the subject in his own island by coming after a country, Bermuda that is waay outside of their league.

    I’ll quote from another website:

    “It is interesting that the Cayman Premier is so clueless that he doesn’t realise Bermuda’s credit rating is higher than Cayman the Cayman Islands. Bermuda is Aa2 according to Moody’s and Cayman is Aa3. S&P don’t even rate Cayman.

    He talks a big game, problem is he has little credibility.”

    Cayman will foreve play catchup to Bermuda. Our Insurance industry alone dwarfs their ENTIRE financial services industry.

  3. observer says:

    My people, please wake up! Unfortunitely our present government, a minority of it’s supporters and the BIU leadership has continue to demonstrate their racial propaganda towards people who don’t look like us. As a Black Bermudian, I am appauled at the way some of our members of Parliment have behaved towards persons that are creating jobs and wealth for our people. And what is sad, two main culprets have been chosen to represent the people again if voted in. Yes Col Burch and Rolf are culprets is hatred. The world was enveous of us, and now they laugh at how we are biting the hands that feed us. They are so happy when they move to their jurisdictions (Luxemberg, Geneva, Zurick, Belfest, Caymon, Isle of Man, and a few others) Look at how many people have left our island. Feel the effect that it is causing! Look at how many rich Bermudians have sold and are selling and leaving. They are the ones that create jobs. Look at how many empty apartments, empty restaurants, empty hotels, empty office buildings etc. We had it good, an uneducated person like myself that worked hard could make a better living than any upper educated middle class in the world. The poor in Bermuda was able to have as many jobs as they could have and travel when they wanted,eat what ever they wanted, buy what ever they wanted if they applied themselves. Now they just about can find one job. Please my people, wake up!! Please wake up before it is to late for you, me and our children. I can’t allow myself to vote PLP anymore. We gave them a chance, as a matter of fact three chances and they have almost brought us to our knees. The black and white thing has to stop, and we need to work very hard together and try to bring back confidence in Bermuda. Our Premier sounds educated and no doubt she is, but the decisions that she and her cabinet have made or have allowed to be made before she was Premier has cripped us. Why term limits if we have the right to say you will never have citizenship. Why have we made them unwelcomed, when they create job, rent our homes, pay into our pensions and taxes. I am hurt at what you have done to our island. Stop doing these things for votes and do what is best for all.

  4. Noel Ashford says:

    I think the cayman premier summed it up quite concisely…

    “The Cayman Islands was now a better choice and could grow “without the malice, without the inhibitions of race, without the inhibitions of transport.”

    The PLP and their seemingly prejudice ways have permanently scarred this islands international reputation – the businesses will never come back, the damage is done at the hands of an incompetent PLP government over the past 14 years. It is allowing our competition to capitolize on this…

    “Dont Blame Me, you made it happen… thanks for voting PLP!!!”

    • Understanding says:


      I wonder if you really beleive some of the stuff you type. Do you really think Cayman can touch insurance? I know that you were all into the UBP and now probably the OBA, but you are being a bit over the top don’t you think.

      The same “Damage is Done” rhetoric doesn’t match with an industry that has tripled in size from 1998 to now… and thats even after the effects of the Great Recession. I hardly think that is a measure of incompetence.

      Cayman is waaaay out of their league, and they will forever play catchup to Bermuda no matter who the Government.

      • observer says:

        Maybe not all to Cayman, but they are leaving. Aks the Chartered Accountant association, over 600 accountants alone has gone in 3 years, which tells us other businesses have gone as well. Stay tuned, more companies to annoince their departures, thanks to me for having put them in power for the last 13 years of hate!!! No way will I vote for them again, unless they prove to be a good opposition in the future.

      • Phoenix says:

        Please tell us the source of your assertion “an industry that has tripled in size from 1998 to now”

      • Noel Ashford says:


        Yes, I do firmly believe that the PLP has damaged us irrepairably. Are you in denial that Bermuda’s economy and finances are in a bad position, one brought on more so by incompetent government vs global recession? The companies are not leaving based on the global recession… they are leaving based on a disfavorable environment in Bermuda. Hey if you dont see it, it’s not my job to educate you, luckily I have a few passports and options.

        Why do you assume notably that just because I was into the UBP that I am for the OBA? I didn’t tell you they would get my vote. Being frank they also dont impress me much, but i feel they are the lesser of the two evils right now. Besides, it is healthy to change government every now and then in any healthy democracy. What more could 4 years of the PLP do for us other than damage us more… Please give me a good arguement on what you feel 4 more years of them would do in a possitive light? IF you can’t answer that, you ought to conceed to the fact they need to go.


    • Tommy Chong says:

      Really! Then how would the cayman premier sum up this? http://caymannewsservice.com/local-news/2011/11/02/cayman-banned-filipino-workers

  5. Truth (Original) says:

    Very sound response, Madam Premier.

    Hopefully, others in your party will now see the international impact that local racial and divisive ramblings can have.

  6. Free Thinker says:

    There is an old saying, “Today for you tomorrow for me” It’s Bermuda’s naivety and arrogance, why our tourism industry has been in steady decline for about 3 decades now. Premier Cox, keep thinking that the Cayman isn’t capably of surpassing us. This hostile atmosphere towards foreigner, that have been allowed for fester, will be our undoing.

    You as a Government, need to remind the people that Bermuda does not and cannot create employment without foreign cash. Every single job on this Island is created as a result of foreigners, no matter how remote it may seems but that’s a fact. So the sooner the populous gets that through their thick sculls, the better it will be for us all. So you all keep up the X-pat bashing, Cayman is in the wings waiting to take advantage of every fumble. And by the way, you think you can pick and choose which category to bash, well you don’t get that choice because they are joined at the hips, totally inseparable.

    Landscaping and construction booms, only when IB is doing great so IB goes, so does all the other industries at the bottom of the spectrum. Just in case some of you are too dense to get it. let me just remind you of one fact, have you taken notice that most of the foreign workers in the construction and landscaping industries have left but that did not translate into more jobs for Bermudians? So you see people, the white, comes with the rice. No white, no rice. Then again, we really deserve what’s coming, maybe that’s what it will take to get us off our high horses and back down to earth.

    • Understanding says:

      I find it laughable that you do not think the Premier, Minster of Finance, and former Lawyer in IB doesn’t understand that “Bermuda does not and cannot create employment without foreign cash.”

      I know you think PLP are stupid, but sorry to let you know, I don’t think they are.

      Also please point to the last example of expat bashing? If you find one let me know, if not stop making stuff up. “Hostile attitude to foreigners” – what planet are you living on?

      • Free Thinker (Original) says:

        If you read my comment instead of your “knee jerk reaction” to defend your party, you would have seen that I said was, “the government need to remind the people” not that the Government needs to know. And I never accused to Government of X-pat bashing, I accused Bermudians of X-pat bashing, it happens ever single day. The Government is just not doing enough to make the people aware of the dynamics of the situation.

        So now just to be clear, in case you have never read my blogs, I am not a party person, I slam the OBA/UBP as much as much as I slam the PLP, I have no friends in either quarters and that suites me just fine. Being neutral to the political process give me the ability, to be objective and not feel enslaved to anyone’s views or opinions. I am free to come to my own objective conclusions, without hate or malice, I just call like it is. So before you get you nickers in a twist, I suggest, you read with understanding before you defend.

      • whatever says:

        Who are you to find the opinions of other laughable? Why are your opinions so much more worthwhile and less comical?

        Please explain your comment about how the insurance industy has “tripled in size” since 1998. Are you talking about the number of companies? Are you talking about the number of jobs that this industry provides? Or, are you talking about the market cap (which doesn’t mean diddly to Bermuda if the companies redomicile elsewhere and relocate half of their staff positions in other jurisdictions).

      • LOL (original TM*) says:

        What solar system have you been living in?


  7. Ryan says:

    I think most of the Bermuda IB community will consider Mr. Bush’s statement pretty ignorant and laughable, even given the current economic climate Bermuda presently finds itself in.

    Despite the damage the PLP has inflicted on-island, Bermuda is still way out of Cayman’s league and, thanks mostly to the great work the BMA does, continues to outpace their very young industry., especially in terms of regulatory sophistication.

    Anyone anywhere in the world even loosely associated with captive re/insurance will look at Mr. Bush’s words with much skepticism. Hardly surprising, though, given that he isn’t the most credible man in the first place…

  8. Cancer says:

    If anyone thinks that the premier of the Cayman Islands is talking trash better think again. Bermuda’s credit rating has fallen since this past year. Cayman can easily catch up and proceed ahead of Bermuda. While we sit back trying to decide what were going to do with a lot of talk and no action, Cayman is actually taking action On their own while Bermuda just sits back and continues to talk. This is pure signs of a reactive government and not a proactive government. This PLP government is not capable of planning our way forward and leading us into a brighter future as they are a party that has genuinely run out of steam and ideas. For those PLP hardlines that have a problem with what McKeeva Bush has said should look at the state of Bermuda and see the harm that has been done to this island within the past five years. The Cog can try to come up with all the good phases and excuses but she is all talk because she and the PLP are not the ones capable of putting good, well thought out and effective policies in place to lead out into the garden path.

  9. mixitup says:

    Wow. After coming down to Cayman myself after hurricane ivan with the Bermuda Regiment, clearing their streets and helping them back on their knees that’s the thanks we get? Never again! Lol-

    • Noel Ashford says:

      Yes and to think the gov wasted soooo many years on caricom concerns / partnership versus our key partners such as closer ties with the UK and US?! Why anyone would now vote PLP I dont know… You would have to be brainwashed or otherwise out of your mind right now…

      • mixitup says:

        So buddy – do not agree with you, I generally appreciate this Governments tighting of the connections between the MAJORITY of Bermudians CARICOM roots, please don’t misinterpret my post to suit your agenda.

  10. Hmmmm says:

    Premier Paula Cox said this evening, “Our Government does not and has never rested on its laurels, but constantly seeks to press the envelope and to march relentlessly forward.

    Relentlessly is perhaps why Bermuda is in the toilet. Take a look at the definition. Stressing accountability, prudent fiscal management and good relationships would have been better for business. Relentlessly is more of of dictators word who believes they are right and everybody else is wrong. Perhaps that is the problem. The PLP believe they will never be voted out and so they can get away with anything.and everything. Hopefully we will show them that the cookie jar is empty because of them and vote them out.

  11. Razor Ramon says:

    “to ensure international business felt welcomed”

    I needed a good laugh on a Monday morning. Cayman is wisely capitalizing on every mistake Bermuda has made and will continue to make. Immigration policies won’t change, more IB will pack up and leave and Cayman will soon race ahead of Bermuda. I spoke with an expert on this issue yesterday and he told me that IB is slowly weeding out personnel and planning to relocate. There is so much more we don’t get to read about in the press. IB (and on a side note, tourism) has had it with the surly treatment from immigration, customs and customer service in general and can not afford to keep up with the continued rising costs of doing business here. This is the most several case of “biting the hand that feeds you” in world history. Epic fail.

  12. Tommy Chong says:

    IB is not leaving Bermuda because of plp their leaving Bermuda because ITS TOO EXPENSIVE TO RUN A BUSINESS HERE! This would be the same if UBP was still in. I hate to give McKeeva some real ammunition instead of the blanks he shooting now but Good Lord loves the truth & this is our only week point here. So don’t blame plp for the effects of Bermudian landlord’s, BELCOS shareholder’s & all others who overprice greed. Even if plp try to set laws to drop prices to compete with cayman’s $60 per square foot offices they would receive so much backlash from landlords dreaming of their time shares & BMWs they would have to reverse the laws. Look how many empty buildings the ex UBP premier has built & still decided to build another at the entrance to Hamilton. WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THIS?!?!?!?! McKeeva is taking potshots at our payroll tax which was in place way before plp stepped in the door.

    Caymans premier is as crooked as they come all supporters should do your research instead of being a parrot repeating what this fool says. As for McKeeva racial poke at us the Philippines has banned workers from going to the Caymans because of the horrible mistreatment they get there. http://caymannewsservice.com/local-news/2011/11/02/cayman-banned-filipino-workers The mistreatment that has caused the ban is far worse than some words sprayed on a wall or made in a speech by certain individuals Bermuda. They are getting physically abused in Cayman which I’m sure the moral fabric of Bermuda would never stoop so low to doing. Just as Cayman will always play Catchup typed in their post, “This guy, who is under fire and under investigation tries to change the subject in his own island by coming after a country, Bermuda that is waay outside of their league.”

    The problem with some people in Bermuda is they either have not lived here long enough to understand our history & what caused the catalyst of the plp being elected or they are locals not loyal to all the good that they have profited from living here. I see all the antiBermuda post made in cayman sites by the same posters that post here weekly. Its obvious with the same screen name & posting style. If you like cayman sooooo much go live there! Unless your just McKeeva Bush propagandist living there already who’s jealousy of our great island is pushing you to sully its image. For those who are Bermudians supporting cayman I hope you find a way to move there soon & end up with one of McKeeva’s condo’s that flooded out last year from being built too low to sea level. Maybe you might get a place to live on the western shore & watch yearly as BP turns your view into a watery oil field. Have fun in the flatlands & don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

  13. Verbal Kint says:

    Ramon makes a good point. Arrogance at this time is deadly, and to keep saying, “they are not in our league”, is arrogant. They, and others will capitalize on our every mistake. Bermuda’s position in International Business has much to do with the people who have chosen to do business here and less to do with any positive impact the government has had, other than to create a formerly attractive place from which to work. For instance, Bermuda’s reputation in the Reinsurance business. Is that due more to some type of wondrous government, or to firms like XL and others who could leave and take their expertise at the drop of a (probably green) hat? Business is leaving. The emphasis should be to stop the bleeding, rather than to argue that it is an acceptable amount of blood.

  14. C..ing is B..Leaving says:

    It took DREB 48 months to ruin 48 years of sound business progress . The Platinum Period of tourism occured in the decades of his absence .

  15. mixitup says:

    Suprised no one has mentioned Caymans atrocious crime levels. Armed robberies every week, Children being shot and killed, 5 murders in the span of a few weeks. They have a mess on their hands and I’m sure IB is watching this.

    • Ryan says:

      It was 5 murders in the space of ten days, actually… The folk on here are quite loathe to be balanced in their perspectives, unfortunately.

      Cayman ain’t that attractive, guys.

  16. navin johnson says:

    more than one of the people in IB reinsurance in Cayman had permit issues in Bermuda and opted to go there….it comes down to ease of operation and limitation of Government interference and that is what the PLP have brought to IB….problems with permits and surprise moves on taxes and policies….a few go to Zurich and a few go to Ireland and a few go to Cayman and a few go back to London or New York and the next thing you know we have the mess we are in now….nothing to do with Global recession and everything to do with an ignorant government who does not have a clue…Cayman may not be the answer but they and every other domicile wants more business and Bermuda’s Government makes for easy pickings….

    • Hey Bye says:

      Navin, you hit the Bermuda nail on the head.
      This is a Bermuda made recession,little to zero related to the Global recession.
      Companies and individuals need reinsurance and insurance,no matter what.