While CLICO policyholders in Trinidad have received news of a $950 million pay-out the head of the group representing investors in Barbados is suggesting that the news may not be so good for local policyholders.
President of the Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA) June Fowler said with no movement on an approved restructuring plan for CLICO here, “it is quite possible that news will shortly be coming advising policyholders of the liquidation of the company and the consequent loss of their savings and investments and the devastation that will bring”.
Yesterday, Trinidad’s Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran announced that CLICO had repaid the government $7 billion and would be paying $950 million in compensation to policyholders in that country.
But Fowler said that “due to the procrastination and inertia of [the Freundel Stuart] Government” policyholders here would have no such luck.
BIPA said it was particularly struck by Rambarran’s comments at the press conference to announce the resolution. He said, among other things, that the CLICO resolution plan would be executed in the manner outlined and would bring closure to “this deep financial wound inflicted on thousands of CLICO policyholders”.
Fowler said it was ironic that this statement should come out of Trinidad exactly a year to the day the Cabinet in Barbados gave approval to the CLICO restructuring plan for policyholders that was co-created by the Ministry of Finance and the CLICO judicial manager Deloitte Consulting.
If that had been implemented, she said, the first phase of the plan would have already been underway to provide a solution that would have satisfied most, if not all, policyholders.
“It speaks volumes that Barbados had its own potential solution that would have enabled our Government to make a similar announcement to that made in Trinidad today of a satisfactory resolution for policyholders,” she said.
“Instead of that,” Fowler added, “a week ago, our Prime Minister sought to ridicule, belittle and insult EFPA [Executive Flexible Premium Annuities] policyholders from the floor of Parliament, as opposed to communicating empathy for their plight and confirming that the restructuring plan approved by his Cabinet was progressing well.”
Fowler was referring to Prime Minister Stuart’s announcement during the Estimates debate that he had a list of all the EFPA policyholders and he might expose them.