Does CIREBA run background checks on all its recognised agents, e.g. for any prior criminal records (particularly given the large sums of money they have access to)?
Auntie’s answer: The Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association (CIREBA) requires a prospective member to submit a police clearance certificate, which is what the Department of Immigration mandates as part of various applications such as for work permits and permanent residency.
In addition, the section introducing the association on CIREBA’s website says it “monitors the business standards and practices of all its members to ensure fair, honest and professional dealings in all real estate transactions”.
The association also has a code of ethics, which is set out on the website. The introduction to this code says, “Maintenance of the reputation of the Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association and of the high standard of ethical practice which it promotes is the direct responsibility of every CIREBA member.”
Of specific relevance to your question, Article 11 of the code says, “Money coming into a member’s possession, such as deposits and/or purchase funds, are to be held in trust. Broker members shall keep special accounts for each currency in a Class A Licensed Cayman bank, separate from their own funds. These escrow accounts must be designated expressly as ‘Client Trust Accounts’.”
I will refrain from commenting on the efficacy of this particular article because I am not qualified to render an informed judgement on it. However, I will point out that many of the brokers who work in Cayman come from overseas and therefore it seems possible that anyone with a criminal record from outside our jurisdiction may be able to avoid having their past catch up with them in Cayman.
If a potential member has resided in Cayman for at least six months, he or she can request a police clearance certificate from the RCIPS, which would not include any offences committed while living elsewhere.