The Financial Services Commission (FSC) is getting a vote of confidence from this island’s policyholders group in light of a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report that has painted a damning picture of the state of the regulatory authority.
On Monday Barbados TODAY released details of the controversial report in which strong concern was raised that the FSC, which was established in 2011, was “equipped with very limited resources” and “struggles to discharge its mandate with respect to the insurance sector supervision”.
The report specially addressed the FSC’s oversight of insurance giant Sagicor, while warning that Sagicor’s structure, business philosophy and operations were in many ways similar to those of the CLICO group, another Caribbean financial conglomerate which failed then years ago, and resulted in substantial losses.
However, Chairperson of the Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA) June Fowler, who has been vigorously representing the interests of thousands of affected CLICO policyholders since that company’s collapse back in 2009, told Barbados TODAY that based on her observations “right now BIPA doesn’t have a concern about the level of efficiency at the FSC”.
Despite the direct comparison made between Sagicor and CLICO in the IMF report, she also expressed confidence in the current management of Sagicor.
“So right now there is nothing that we have seen that will cause us to be disturbed as it relates to the FSC and this is based on our experience in dealing with Resolution Life and NLICO [the two new institutions that are to take over what’s left of CLICO’s operations] and what we have seen them do for these companies to get themselves regulated and up and running,” Fowler added.
It is expected that by December 31 the transfer CLICO’s operations to ResLife should be completed, setting in motion the next phases of the process in January, which will entail the judicial manager handing over all of CLICO’s assets and liabilities and verification of information by ResLife.
Thereafter, the Central Bank will issue a bond in early February and NLICO, which is scheduled to take over the business of the collapsed insurance conglomerate, is due to begin operations on February 18, 2018, paving the way for payouts to begin to affected policyholders.