Thousands of policyholders of CLICO International Life Insurance Company Limited and British American Insurance Company, which went under a decade ago, are closer to receiving their long awaited settlement with the approval today by the Senate of over $90 million to meet the payments.
Government Senator Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo, who introduced the measure, said Barbadians who have been awaiting a payout for several years, could finally breath a sigh of relief.
“I know many Barbadians would like to see this come to an end. Many of them are quite anxious, and up to this weekend someone asked me how soon this matter could be resolved because she wanted to leave something for her grandchildren,” Byer-Suckoo told the Upper Chamber, as legislators from all sides welcomed the move to settle the debt.
Meanwhile, Senator Darcy Boyce said one of the problems that led to the collapse of CLICO was the fact that there was no regional consolidated supervision of the insurance industry.
“We began looking at this for the banking industry between 2002 and 2003, but we need it for insurance as well, especially as we move closer to implementing the Caribbean Single Market and Economy,” Boyce said.
Independent Senator John Watson expressed similar sentiments, stressing that it was important to “carefully monitor inflows and outflows of foreign exchange via these establishments” when dealing with foreign-owned companies.
The Lower House had in December last year approved a similar measure, with Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler revealing at the time that the judicial manager was expected to complete transferring CLICO’s operations to Resolution Life Insurance Limited (ResLife) by December 31.
This, he said, would set the first two phases of the transfer process in motion in January 2018, entailing the judicial manager handing over all CLICO assets and liabilities and the verification of information by ResLife.
Thereafter, the Minister of Finance had said, the Central Bank would issue the bond this month and New Life Investment Company (NLICO), the company taking over the business of the collapsed insurance conglomerate, paving the way for payouts this year.