Original “Letter” sent by June Fowler, President of BIPA, excerpts of which were included in the article in the Sunday Sun.
CLICO BACK TO SQUARE ONE
As I reflect on the last 10 years of the CLICO disaster which has devastated the lives of tens of thousands of policyholders and their families throughout the Caribbean region, I am deeply saddened by the fact that, as of the date of this letter, BIPA finds itself back in Court still fighting for a successful resolution for the policyholders in Barbados.
The collapse of CLICO in Barbados ten years ago was the result, not only of a lack of government department oversight and a failure to enforce the rules and regulations with which all insurance companies registered in Barbados must comply, but also the wilful mishandling of the pensioners’ savings and investments within that company.
In the years that followed, the incalculable levels of stress and anguish suffered by ordinary people, most of them pensioners, was made worse by the countless missed deadlines and empty promises to put right this wholly avoidable situation, and even further exacerbated by the endless silences regarding the progress of the plans to do so.
And yet worse still, the vast majority of these people who had purchased traditional insurance policies from one of the largest, and supposedly regulated entities in the Caribbean, were subjected to taunts of greed, and comments that “they should have known better”, for doing what we are all advised to do from a very young age; save for the future and especially for our retirement.
While awaiting a resolution to the debacle, hundreds of policyholders passed away without ever knowing if their families would receive a red cent of the money so carefully put aside for them over the years.
Hopes and prayers appeared to have finally been answered when at the beginning of 2018, after seven years of countless meetings, thousands of pages of Submissions, Affidavits, Draft Agreements and more than twenty Supreme Court Hearings, all of which were attended by BIPA, a Final Transfer Agreement of assets and policies from CLICO to New Life Investment Company and Resolution Life was executed, having been approved by the Cabinet of the then Government of Barbados, The Minister of Finance, The Solicitor General, The Central Bank, The Financial Services Commission, The Judicial Manager, oh yes, and BIPA.
As a result, pensioners, those with matured policies and those entitled to death benefits started to receive instalments to make up their arrears, and those with annuities started to receive their monthly pensions. Those who had Executive Flexible Pension Annuities, many in their 70s, 80s and even 90s, were to receive repayments of their principle investment, as promised, albeit spread over 10 years.
It seemed as if the calamitous CLICO debacle had finally come to an end for policyholders.
It is important at this stage to state that although the transferred policy portfolio was effectively underwritten by the Government of Barbados, the cash transfers involved were relatively small, as it was projected that the interest on the Sovereign Instruments issued as part of the Transfer Agreement would be sufficient to cover outgoing payments, together with the projected income generated by Resolution Life.
Thankfully, we had a vibrant Opposition in Parliament during the 10 years of the CLICO debacle which supported the Transfer Agreement both in principle and throughout its passage through Parliament.
But everything changed with the arrival of the new Government on May 24th, 2018, headed by The Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, who was personally such a consistent and vocal supporter of the policyholders being made whole.
The disastrous state of the country’s economy and finances had been no secret in the years leading up to the 2018 election and thankfully the new Government under PM Mottley wasted not one moment in beginning to tackle the huge issues it faced.
The almost immediate suspension of external and internal debt had a calamitous effect on the value and intention of the instruments which were to underwrite Resolution Life and its policyholders. Pension arrears stopped, and the first of the payments to be spread over ten years for EFPA policyholders was indefinitely postponed, ostensibly only until the restructuring of internal debt had been completed.
BIPA is very much aware and supportive of this Government’s continuing efforts to reduce debt and bring about a level of growth to the economy. However it is very disturbing to me that this Administration which was so vocal and supportive of us in Opposition, and the Prime Minister herself, who has made numerous statements about making special arrangements to protect the most vulnerable, especially pensioners, and has indeed kept her word with the general population, seems to remain so strangely silent on the matter of the CLICO/Resolution Life policyholders.
It is with a heavy heart that we return to the Supreme Court yet again next week without any official indication about any “special arrangements to protect the most vulnerable, especially the pensioners” who, all those years ago put their trust in a government regulated insurance company, and as recently as last year, once more trusted in a Supreme Court Order to deliver them from their nightmare.
It is as if the CLICO Policyholders of Barbados are back to square one and having to relive the same nightmare a second time around.
IF YOUR NAME APPEARS ON THESE LISTS, PLEASE CALL CUSTOMER SERVICES ON 538-8000 URGENTLY!
The Judicial Manager of British American Insurance Company (Barbados) Limited (“BAICO”) wishes to advise that the BAICO Office will be closed effective September 1, 2018.
After this date, payment of claims under the first distribution will be available for collection from KPMG located in Hastings, Christ Church between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. by appointment. Policyholders can contact the Judicial Manager at 434-3900 or through BAICO’s email account – email@example.com to schedule an appointment or for any queries regarding payments.
Policyholders are reminded that they are required to provide a valid form of identification in order to collect their cheques. If policyholders have instructed persons to collect payments on their behalf, these individuals must present a valid form of identification, along with one valid form of identification of the policyholder and a signed letter from the policyholder authorizing collection on their behalf.
Policyholders are also requested to bring all correspondence received from the Judicial Manager during
The Judicial Manager apologizes for the delay of the final distribution but will provide policyholders with an update on the timing of this payment in due course. Your patience is greatly appreciated.
See this notice linked below:
Policyholders please note that this announcement ONLY affects the EFPA policyholders at this time.
All other payments due from ResLife are being made.
BIPA is not at all happy with the situation and has already made contact with a number of the parties involved on behalf of policyholders.
See notice below:
Does your name appear on this list of ex-CLICO, now Resolution Life policyholders?
Did you know there are funds waiting for you, but the Resolution Life Office does not have any contact information for you?
Please read the notice carefully and follow the instructions so that you can arrange to collect your funds.
The following information was received by BIPA from the BAICO Judicial Manager at the weekend, too late to disseminate to members.
BIPA notes that the information and explanation regarding the payment of only 70% of valid claims at this time was not included in the press notices and is causing some confusion and concern among policyholders when they go to collect their cheques.
Please read the following carefully which explains the delay in payment of the final 30%.
To BIPA from KPMG, Judicial Managers for BAICO
As you know, the life and annuity portfolio of BAICO was transferred to Sagicor Life Inc. (“Sagicor”) with an effective date of April 24, 2018. The Judicial Manager of BAICO (the “JM”) and Sagicor are in the process of completing the final steps of this transaction and have already sent correspondence to policyholders notifying them of the status and value of their policies.
As per the JM’s Final Report dated March 14, 2016, the JM is responsible for payment of all outstanding claims by policyholders which were incurred prior to the Court Approval Date of December 31, 2016. To make these payments the JM intends to use the segregated premiums collected during JM, funds received from liquidating shares held by BAICO and funding from the GOB; which has already been received.
The JM has liquidated the majority of the shares held by BAICO but is experiencing a delay in liquidating the remaining shares held in Trinidad and Tobago. The JM is actively working to resolve the situation.
Given the aforementioned circumstances, the JM will distribute 70% of the amount outstanding to all policyholders within the next few weeks. The remaining 30% will be paid when the funds are received from the sale of the securities.
The JM will send correspondence to all policyholders next week notifying them that payments will be available for collection from the BAICO office from July 2, 2018. Notices will also be placed in the Nation and Advocate newspapers on July 1st and 4th notifying policyholders of payments.