The organization which represents policyholders and investors in the failed CLICO International Life (CIL) has welcomed Government’s allocation of close to $30 million in its 2017-2018 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the payment of the first tranche of their $300 million debt, which is to be repaid over ten years.
Based on the Estimates laid in Parliament Tuesday morning by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, $25 million has been set aside for long-suffering CLICO policyholders and $4.9 million for investors in its sister insurance company British American Insurance Company (BAICO), following the collapse of both institutions back in 2009.
“BIPA is pleased to see the Government following through on its commitment and based on some other things that have happened. We’re very pleased to see that both of these situations [CLICO and BAICO] seem to be drawing to a close and that policyholders should soon be in a position to begin to get their money repaid,” Vice President of the Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA) Deighton Smith told Barbados TODAY.
Smith noted that the solutions proposed for CLICO and BAICO were slightly different.
“In the one case, the money provided for BAICO was to close the gap in terms of their assets and liabilities, and, on the other hand, the CLICO solution is one in which CLICO [policyholders] would be paid out primarily over a ten-year period, and therefore the money in the Estimates is to cover this year’s payment,” he explained, while noting that BIPA would still have to meet with Government to discuss the nuts and bolts of the payout.
“At the moment we are very pleased to see these commitments being made,” Smith stressed.
As for those policyholders who died while awaiting payment of their monies, he assured that their beneficiaries would be paid.
“Things like death benefits would be paid out upfront and the amounts allocated would have included, so where there are cases of death benefits, they would be paid in full immediately,” he said.
Early last month, BIPA President June Fowler had expressed strong concern that the heavy loss was weighing down on its membership – in particular families of the more than 200 policyholders who have died since the “scandalous” collapse of the two insurance subsidiaries some eight years ago.