Bad news for the thousands of CLICO policyholders waiting to recoup the millions of dollars invested in the collapsed insurance company.
One of the prime ministers of the region who is working with Barbados and his other CARICOM partners in seeking to reach a financial settlement, told Barbados TODAY any resolution to the CLICO debacle was a long way away.
“The wider situation has some implications. I know that a few things would have developed, which would have shown some signs that we are getting some traction in terms of possible resolution, but I think, quite frankly, that we are a long way away,” cautioned Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer of Antigua and Barbuda.
“And, the fact is, I do not believe that we are going to get a resolution that would eventually provide all the benefits that ought to accrue to the individuals who have been affected,” Spencer warned.
“In other words, I see a situation developing, where, as they call it, a serious haircut would have to take place. We are hoping that that doesn’t happen, or if it does, not in any significant way,” the prime minister said.
However he noted that the issues remained “out there”, and governments and other institutions were working “feverishly” to see to what extent they could get a resolution of the CLICO issue.
Asked what was holding up progress on investors and policyholders getting back their money, Spencer said one of the main stumbling blocks was how exactly governments were going to go about structuring a mechanism that would allow for the resources to be made available to solve the problem.
“And that in itself is a challenge. That’s the key. It is a question of agreeing on a formula, and having agreed on a formula, being in a position to meet the obligations. That is something that is still being worked on,” he added.
Spencer suggested apart from Barbados, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States were most severely impacted by the CLICO collapse.
“Not only individuals, but state corporations, and to some extent, even governments directly have been affected,” the prime minister noted.
He said of the situation at LIAT, which is based in his country, “you have an exposure of some EC$14 million in which the pension rights and so on of employees at LIAT have been affected”.
“We are working feverishly to resolve that issue,” he assured. “I have to admit that there is no end in sight immediately, but we have been reassured that to the extent that CLICO operations out of Barbados would be part of this scenario, that efforts are being made to address it.”