With over 300 deaths among CLICO policyholders in the last ten years the Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA) is again pleading with Government to “do right” by its most elderly members.
President June Fowler said two more CLICO policyholders passed away last year, adding to those who have died without receiving the benefits of payouts from the policies they held with the collapsed company. And she believes it is time for the ten-month-old Mia Mottley administration to live up to the support they gave the policyholders from the opposition benches even as the Government deals with the management of the economy now under an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.
This afternoon Fowler told Barbados TODAY that there was still time for the Mia Mottley administration to share its plan on how it intends to accommodate the policy holders.
“You can’t be in Opposition for ten years, supporting the approved plan, supporting what the Government of the day did and now that you in the seat you are singing a different song. I would like to believe that the Government in all of its workings to right the wrongs of the economy, must have a plan that will see a successful outcome for the policyholders,” she said.
Last November the BIPA president complained that the payments to policyholders, many of whom are in their 70s, 80s and 90s, should have started on July 31, 2018, and have now been suspended indefinitely. This is very vexing to BIPA,” the spokesperson added.
Fowler told Barbados TODAY then that she is even more concerned that the bond maturity period has been extended to 15 years but needs clarity on whether this means an additional 15 years to the ten years already covered or five added to the ten.
“This is one of the things that we need clarity on. Is it an additional five to the ten? We hope it is an additional five to the ten as opposed to an additional 15,” she declared.
Last Friday the matter was back in the courts for some clarity after BIPA had expressed concern with the slow progress on discussions between the Ministry of Finance and Resolution Life (ResLife), the company that replaced CLICO, over the possible changes to the investment instruments issued to New Life Investment Company Limited by a Supreme Court order in 2018. Friday’s hearing was adjourned because the Government was not ready to proceed.
However, this afternoon Fowler said she is hopeful that payments will resume later this year but in the meantime her organisation will continue to strategise with the legal team.
“We can’t do this to the elderly because over 300 people have died without seeing a red cent of their money. I can only hope that the persons left behind will continue to follow up and receive those funds, not in the next ten years but before the end of the year,” she added.
The outspoken BIPA head argued, “Time is literally running out for a lot of members. I am still an optimist; I still believe that all things are possible and that some ease is on the horizon for our members.”