BIPA Wants All Policyholders’ Money Paid Back, a Clarion Call for Justice across the Region – PAY UP OR ELSE!

While the Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA) thoroughly appreciates and welcomes the sterling and timely work which has been done by the CLICO Judicial Manager, Deloitte Consulting Limited, the Alliance has concerns about some of the options proposed as ways forward for policyholders of the troubled company.

(FILE IMAGE) "It is interesting that since the original proposal was made, a committee, including representatives from the Central Bank of Barbados, CDB and the Ministry of Finance was set up to propose four further options, requiring varying degrees of funding from the governments of each of the affected countries, which would offer more palatable solutions for most, if not all, policyholders."

The initial option, originally proposed in the Judicial Manager’s Report submitted to the Courts on July 28th proposed liquidation of those assets of the Company which can be traced and identified at this time. In view of the absence of documentation for assets worth some $350 million, the result of this proposal would be that policyholders in Barbados, and countries throughout the Eastern Caribbean in which CLICO was operating, would receive less than 50 cents on each of their hard earned dollars invested in this company.

In a presentation to policyholders last weekend detailing the current state of CLICO International Life Insurance Limited, Deloitte Consulting Limited, represented by Oliver Jordan, also gave a clear and detailed explanation of each of the options proposed.

Various opinions have been expressed on the five options being proposed. However Chairperson of BIPA, June Fowler, recalls that when she first publicly invited policyholders to unite in January of this year, she stated quite clearly that she did not want 50 cents on the dollar, 10 cents on the dollar, or no cents on the dollar. She wanted everything owed to her – her hard earned dollars and any interest due.

(FILE IMAGE - CHAIR OF TRINIDAD'S CLICO POLICYHOLDER'S GROUP DRUMMING UP SUPPORT AT ST GABRIEL'S AUDITORIUM) "...If it appears that policyholders and investors in Barbados and its sister nations in the Caribbean are facing a Goliath, then BIPA is prepared to be their David. BIPA invites all of the 25,000 CLICO and 10,000 BAICO policyholders in Barbados to join with us as we go into battle to get back what is rightfully ours – all our money."

Today, that message is still very much the focus and goal of the Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance. The Alliance will support and join with, or if necessary take itself, whatever action is needed to pursue and recover every last dollar owed to policyholders, and where there has been negligence or malfeasance, support or take action to ensure that the culprits face the full consequences.

For those concerned about the potential time factors involved in some of the proposed options, rest assured that BIPA will continue to keep up pressure on all parties to conclude matters in a timely manner. We will not abandon those policyholders who are already ‘in the departure lounge of life’ nor all those with heartrending stories of abject poverty thrust upon them after a life of dedicated service to country.

And as for whether government should assist in the funding of the proposed solutions, let us not forget their culpability in this debacle; the negligence of their agencies and their procrastination in acting. At the meeting last weekend, one policyholder likened the government’s indolence to Nero fiddling while Rome burned. Well, there is a price to be paid for such abandon and disregard, and government would do well to pay the price, move on and, hopefully, learn from its mistakes.

Let us also not forget BAICO, whose Judicial Manager has gone into silent mode, giving only vague statements when questioned about the status of the company and the various proposals made for the policyholders of that company.

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