The advocacy group for British American Insurance Company (Barbados) Ltd (BAICO) policyholders has welcomed news of a new transfer completion date for the failed insurance company’s life and annuity business to Sagicor Life Inc.
The judicial manager, KPMG, announced last week that following a delay due to concerns over Government’s financial standing, the new transfer date will be February 28, 2018.
The Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance Inc (BIPA), which supports the more than 10,000 affected BAICO policyholders, said it was hoping there were no further delays.
“BIPA is delighted that news was finally released . . . in a paid press release by the judicial manager, informing policyholders that on December 20th, 2017, the High Court approved the continuation of the original transfer, and BIPA looks forward to the revised transfer completion date of February 28th 2018 being honoured,” the advocacy group said in a press release.
BIPA said having endured eight-and-a-half years of “uncertainty and anxiety” about their saving and investments, the policyholders had hoped for completion of the transfers eight months ago, but “had to suffer silence on their fate and that of their policies” while the judicial manager, Sagicor and Government continued their negotiations.
BAICO’s parent company CL Financial Ltd collapsed nine years ago after experiencing a financial crisis, leaving thousands of here and in the rest of the region on tenterhooks.
BIPA advised policyholders to look out for correspondence from the judicial manager in the coming weeks, and urged those whose contact details have changed to “contact BAICO as a matter of urgency”.
“It is now nine years since the collapse of both CLICO and British American, and policyholders have undergone unimaginable misery as a result of the delays and setbacks in the promised solutions. Let us hope that by the middle of 2018, this entire debacle will finally be consigned to a very dark part of the country’s financial history,” BIPA said.
In a press release issue late last week, KPMG said the payment of claims and the transfer of policies to Sagicor Life Inc would continue on the same terms and conditions outlined in its initial correspondence to policyholders in January and February last year.
It said the new transfer date was agreed after “concerns about the adequacy of Government of Barbados funding following a number of downgrades of government debt by international rating agencies” were resolved.
“The judicial manager, Sagicor and the Government of Barbados have since agreed a suitable course and on December 20, 2017 the High Court of Barbados approved the continuation of the transfer,” it said in the release.
The original agreed date for transfer to Sagicor was May 31, 2017. However, that was held up due to a back and forth between the Ministry of Finance, Sagicor and KPMG, following several concerns raised by Sagicor, including about Barbados’ economic downgrades and Government’s financing.
Government has allocated close to $30 million in this year’s Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the payment of the first tranche of its $300 million debt, which is to be paid over ten years.
Of the sum, $4.9 million has been set aside for investors in BAICO and $25 million for its sister company CLICO.