Barbados Investors & Policyholders Association demand to know if this is true – GROSS AND RECKLESS DERELICTION OF DUTY IN BARBADOS?

The Trinidad & Tobago Sunday Express has discovered new evidence which proves that State and Government officials in T&T knew that CL Financial and CLICO Life Insurance in the twin island state were not only routinely breaking the rules, but were operating well outside the law. In an article dated 18 December 2011, investigative journalist Camini Marajh describes the “unforgivably gross and reckless dereliction of duty” by state regulators, auditors, directors and officers of these two entities and their subsidiaries throughout the region.” She goes on to claim that “for close to two decades, State regulators kept rogue insurance giant CLICO in their gun sight, but never fired the proverbial warning shot that could have saved the day.”

The article also quotes Financial Analyst Ved Seereeram as saying that “T&T Central Bank, by its complicit silence, aided and abetted CL Financial executives in repeated acts of corporate misconduct and law-breaking.” A former banker, Seereeram contends that Central Bank was guilty of dereliction of duty. He said that if regulators and external auditors had acted sooner on the concerns raised 16 years ago by former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance and former Republic Bank chairman Frank Barsotti, now deceased, “the problems could have been rectified, if not confined. Certainly, the financial hole would have been a lot smaller“.

Also involved in the Twin Island Republic's Chamber of Commerce - Peter Permell visited Barbados earlier this year and warned BIPA to make sure every avenue is covered to regain most if not all investments which are missing or unaccounted for...

The article points the finger at other culpable players in the CL Financial debacle, including external auditors PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which signed off on the annual financial accounts, and the directors and officers who were entrusted to manage the affairs of CLICO, CL Financial Ltd, CLICO Investment Bank and British American Insurance Co Ltd.
The Barbados Policyholders and Investors Alliance (BIPA) is calling upon the Judicial Managers of CLICO and BAICO to state openly to what extent similar gross and reckless dereliction of duty, and acts of corporate misconduct and law-breaking occurred in Barbados. The Alliance also wants to know at what point in time Government and its agencies became aware of the warning signs of this impending disaster and yet did nothing to stop or correct it.

BIPA is further calling for an investigation into whether auditors of CLICO and BAICO in Barbados discovered irregularities and yet despite knowledge of these irregularities, still signed off on audited financial statements, qualifying them as correct “to their knowledge”.

BIPA will no longer tolerate the ‘tight lipped’ policy being adopted by State officials in this fiasco, and reminds them of the repeated public statements by past and present Prime Ministers and Finance Ministers assuring Barbadian policyholders that their money was safe.

BIPA moreover wants to clarify for the general public and others who seem confused, that more than 95% of the 35,000 CLICO and BAICO policyholders in Barbados have ‘traditional’ insurance policies; Health, Life, Annuities etc. They insured their health, their lives and their futures by putting their hard- earned money and savings into the same kind of policies as those which can be purchased at any of Barbados’ major insurance companies. They are not investors. They are not risk takers. They are ordinary Barbadians who trusted their Government and its regulators to protect them.

Furthermore, they are 35,000 constituents who are watching and waiting, while continuing to faithfully pay their premiums into an insolvent company simply because their country’s leaders and officials have advised them to do so. {EDITOR’S NOTE – Oh Freundel?? This mean’s serious amount of votes which are desperately needed for next elections whenever called, as you’re gonna need every ballot to try and stay alive, okay??}

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