CLICO BACK TO SQUARE ONE – June Fowler

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.

BIPA Response To Announcement By Resolution Life

PRESS RELEASE
THURSDAY 11TH JANUARY 2018
RESPONSE TO ANNOUNCEMENT BY RESOLUTION LIFE

A new day has finally dawned for former CLICO policyholders whose policies have now been successfully transferred to Resolution Life, a specially formed, 100% Bajan, fully compliant insurance company, headed and managed by people with a wealth of integrity and experience in the field.

It was with unreserved joy that BIPA received final confirmation today that Resolution Life (ResLife) was ready to make the announcement of the transfer to policyholders.

BIPA President June Fowler recalls the earliest meetings held by the Alliance in February 2011, when it was felt by most of its members that they would never see their money again.

“That feeling of hopelessness has remained with many policyholders, whose lives were and have since been devastated by this debacle,” says Fowler.  “But we never gave up hope, and fought with every fibre of our beings with this, the final and successful resolution, our only aim,” she adds.

BIPA thanks all those who supported the Alliance through its seven-year struggle, and especially our Financial Consultant, William Douglas, as well as Alair Shepherd QC and Sumaya Desai who have most ably advised and represented BIPA, its members and policyholders in general, attending countless meetings, as well as Court hearings, every one of which BIPA attended without fail.

As a result of the efforts of BIPA’s legal team, one of their directors, Deighton Smith, was invited to sit on the Boards of both ResLife and New Life Investment Company, which holds the former CLICO’s assets.

“BIPA is immensely grateful to Deighton for the tremendous work he has done representing us and thus all policyholders, to ensure their best interests are served at all times,” says June Fowler.

“If it took too long for many policyholders who have passed on while waiting and hoping for a resolution, I thank God that we got there in the end,” says Fowler finally.

BIPA asks policyholders to be patient and keep an eye on press releases and other information as the new company gets up to full speed in order to provide the promised first-class service.

**Ends

KPMG Press Release – Important Notice: British American Insurance Policyholder Information Update

British American Insurance Policyholders please note the Press Release published in the press today by BAICO’s Judicial Manager KPMG

BIPA will respond shortly. Please note that any enquiries should be made direct to BAICO at 431-4400 or by email at baico@kpmg.bb

ANOTHER GOAL ACHIEVED IN THE CLICO BUSINESS TRANSFER PROCESS

The BIPA Leadership team and its attorneys today attended what they hope will be the last of countless hearings at the Supreme Court over the last six and a half years, not to mention as many meetings between the many parties involved, in which they played their part in the long and often frustrating process leading to the recovery of the savings and investments of individual CLICO policyholders.

Justice William Chandler was finally satisfied with the mountain of submissions, affidavits and associated documents filed by the various parties, and approved all aspects of the transfer of assets and insurance policies from CLICO to New Life Investment Company and Resolution Life Insurance Limited, and shortly before midday today, signed all the relevant orders.

The final part of the process will now commence within the next two weeks with an advertisement in the press and letters going out to all policyholders giving further information.

There will follow a period of 90 days during which policyholders will be able to confirm with the Judicial Manager’s office that all details regarding their policies are correct. At the end of this 90 day period, the actual transfer of assets and policies will take place and shortly thereafter, payments to policyholders with pensions, matured policies and other valid claims will commence in accordance with the terms of the Transfer Agreement.

BIPA is hopeful, as are all concerned, that policyholders will start to receive payments this side of Christmas. In any event, the matter has now been cleared by the Court and we are finally in the implementation stage of the Transfer Agreement.

BIPA will shortly convene a meeting to update its members on the details of the Agreement.

KPMG Notice Re: Statements – POLICYHOLDER INFORMATION VERIFICATION

ATTENTION ALL BRITISH AMERICAN POLICYHOLDERS!
Please read this notice and the one regarding missing contact information and take action accordingly to ensure the correct policy information is transferred to SAGICOR.

Please note the deadline for amendments is MARCH 31ST 2017

IMPORTANT NOTICE
BRITISH AMERICAN INSURANCE (BARBADOS) LIMITED

 

POLICYHOLDER INFORMATION VERIFICATION

KPMG Transactions and Restructuring Limited, the Judicial Manager (the “JM”) of British American Insurance Company (Barbados) Limited (“BAICO”) wishes to advise that the Final Report which contained the formal recommendations and outlined the details of the proposed treatment of remaining policies of BAICO, has been approved by the High Court of Barbados.

  • The Final Report is available on the website http://www.kpmg.com/bb/en/ba.
  • The JM has sent correspondence to all policyholders dated January 31, 2017.
  • The JM now requests that policyholders review the contents of their letter as their policy will be valued on the information contained within “Appendix 1 —Your Statement”.
  • If you believe the information contained within “Your Statement” is correct there is no action to be taken at this time. You will receive further information from the JM shortly after the Bar Date on March 31, 2017 regarding the Solution.
  • However, if you believe any of the information in “Your Statement” is incorrect you must notify BAICO of any amendments before March 31, 2017.

NO AMENDMENTS TO POLICY INFORMATION WILL BE MADE AFTER MARCH 31, 2017.

Due to the vast number of policyholders, the JM has ensured additional persons are available at BAICO to answer your queries. For this process, policyholders will be grouped according to policy type and are requested to visit the BAICO office located at the Corner of Collymore Rock and Britton’s Cross Road at the specific dates listed below.

The groupings will be based on the colour of the “Appendix A —Your Statement” contained within your letter. The specific dates are as follows:

  • Pink – February 6, 7, 9 – 10, 2017
  • Blue – February 8, 2017
  • Green – February 13 -17, 2017

FROM FEBRUARY 20, 2017 POLICYHOLDERS WILL STILL BE ABLE TO VISIT THE BAICO OFFICE BY SCHEDULING AN APPOINTMENT WITH A CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE.

If visiting the BAICO office, policyholders should bring supporting policy documentation. Policyholders are reminded that this is an information verification exercise and no payment will be made at this stage in regards to any policy.

Policyholders are also urged to call the BAICO office at (246) 431-4400 or email baico@kpmg.bb if they have any queries.

List of Names of Policyholders for whom No Current Address or Contact Information is Held

BRITISH AMERICAN POLICYHOLDERS please see this list of names of policyholders for whom no current address or contact information is held. If your name, or the name of someone you know is on this list, please contact the BAICO office as shown on the notice.

A downloadable pdf is available here:    http://freepdfhosting.com/4ef74d440e.pdf

ATTENTION BAICO POLICYHOLDERS: URGENT

The Judicial Manager of British American Insurance Company (Barbados) Limited (“BAICO”) — In Judicial Management has filed its final report with the High Court of Barbados and is now in the process of verifying policyholder contact information.

If your name and/or policy number is included in the list at http://freepdfhosting.com/8b9250ad1e.pdf, please visit the BAICO office located at the Corner of Collymore Rock and Britton’s Cross Road or call the office at 431-4400 to provide your current contact details.

Sinckler sorry

THE GOVERNMENT says it has not abandoned the policyholders of the failed CLICO Insurance Company.

Minister of Finance Christopher Sinckler said yesterday he would be issuing a statement, hopefully within the next few weeks, to let policyholders know when their policies, as well as those of the failed CLICO subsidiary British American Insurance Company Ltd (BAICO) would be transferred to the new company Resolution Life.

“On behalf of whomever has been responsible for the inordinate delays in the implementation, I want to apologise.

“I can’t say me because I, and my ministry, are not involved in the day-to-day execution of it, but I want to say to those Barbadians who have been ill affected by this process continually that we have not abandoned you and that we should apologise publicly for those delays.

sinckler-sorry