EDITORIAL: CLICO case going on for too long

Nation News Editorial:  http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/85476/editorial-clico

HOW LONG IS too long when thousands face unnecessary pain and hardship? For a frank and honest answer to this question just ask the many anxious and nervous policyholders and investors of the failed CLICO/BAICO insurance companies.

To say that these long-suffering policyholders would be frustrated and angry would be an understatement. They may reasonably believe that mock-sport is being made of them.

The fundamental questions any reasonable person would ask is why it has taken so long to bring these matters to a satisfactory conclusion and who stands to gain and to lose. It is certainly annoying that whenever it appears as if a workable solution is at hand, something pops up ensuring there is no endgame.

The judicial managers for both BAICO and CLICO Barbados have been on the job for a long time, even if it is a complex undertaking. The months have turned into years, for it was in September six years ago that BAICO was placed in judicial management of KPMG, and CLICO less than a year later under Deloitte Consulting.

The action was taken under Section 57 of the Insurance Act on the grounds that the companies were incapable of paying liabilities due to policyholders, given the inadequacy of their assets to satisfy both creditors and policyholders.

What is frustrating to policyholders is that the CLICO plan, approved since December 2015 by Justice William Chandler following months of deliberation, is yet to show signs of being a reality.

Time does indeed become money and when a decision is finally agreed and implemented the cost would have risen above the over $400 million needed to pump into any rescue plan.

This is a burden to the Government, the taxpayers and the same policyholders and investors. It also leaves many trusting policyholders who faithfully continue to pay their premiums wondering whether it will be all for nothing.

There is undoubtedly untold hardship being faced by policyholders and their families and the longer this process takes the greater will be the anger and downright mistrust.

Many people have been reduced to virtual poverty and a growing number will question who stands to gain from this drawn-out process. Investors, including retired employees, are eager to draw on their anticipated benefits.

What makes the entire debacle particularly disgusting is the lack of regular updates by the judicial managers to keep an eager public aware of what is happening.

The people of Barbados deserve to be kept informed on what is a very public matter. Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler needs to speak to the public.

CLICO Investors Dying Out

Hopefully this will reach the eyes of those who are dragging their feet and will put enough fire under them to speed things up. If Barbados’ 50th Anniversary arrives on 30th November and policyholders have not seen the start of their money coming back, BIPA will have plenty to say about it.

Nation News Monday 12th September

WITH SOME MEMBERS dying before any resolution in the CLICO/BAICO insurance debacle, the head of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) has called for quicker action to conclude the rescue deal.

“They don’t have a lot of time left and they need to have this thing settled within their lifetime, as rapidly as possible,” said Ed Bushell. “A lot of these people [who made the investment] were in their 70s and 80s so some would have gone on without any hope.”

The BARP leader was among more than 50 people attending the annual general meeting of the Barbados Investors & Policyholders Alliance (BIPA) at the St Gabriel’s School last Wednesday.

Bushell said BARP members were very concerned about the time being taken to resolve the problem, and he expressed mixed views about the current situation.



KPMG, the Judicial Manager for BAICO is now in the process of verifying policyholder contact information. If you are a policyholder and believe your contact information may be out of date or incorrect, please contact BAICO on 431-4400 as soon as possible.

BAICO’s Magazine Lane, Bridgetown office will close permanently on June 30th, however the Collymore Rock Office (between the BARP Office and the traffic lights) will remain open and can be contacted at the same telephone number as above, 431-4400.

CLICO Judicial Manager’s Final Forensic Report Unsealed

BIPA was pleased to hear that the CLICO Judicial Manager’s Final Forensic Report was unsealed in the High Court today.

“This will put an end to the speculation regarding what is contained in the Report, and will allow us to focus on the need for exceedingly swift action by the Government to avoid the possible commencement of liquidation proceedings of the Company at the Court Hearings on 17th, 20th and 21st April 2015,” said BIPA President June Fowler today, adding that liquidation “would result in less than 20 cents on the dollar for policyholders and would contradict every assurance that has ever been given to thousands of policyholders by successive Prime Ministers and the Minster of Finance since this debacle started over 6 years ago.”

BIPA is frustrated that despite the existence of a detailed restructuring plan, in which Government and the Ministry of Finance fully participated with the Judicial Manager, and which was subsequently approved by Cabinet on 27th March 2014, there has not to date been any tangible evidence of the Ministry’s execution of the initial phase of the plan which should have been well underway by the end of December 2014 at the latest.

Various communications, which are a matter of public record, between the Ministry and the Judicial Manager, make it clear that the Judicial Manager was assured that the initial funding approved by Cabinet would be forthcoming during 2014 in order to meet shortfalls and facilitate funding of the initial phase of the Cabinet approved plan. However, such funding never materialised, leaving the Judicial Manager with little option but to change course and pursue liquidation.

At the hearings in April, BIPA will be strongly objecting to the liquidation of CLICO on the grounds that a viable plan put together by Government and the Judicial Manager and approved by Cabinet is on the table. “All that is required is for Government to either get moving and execute the plan with uncharacteristic haste, or come up with a viable alternative that can be executed even more quickly,” says June Fowler, adding, “I doubt the court will be satisfied with empty promises of the kind policyholders have had to put up with. Rather, I expect hard evidence that the plan is ready to roll is what will be required, and that is what policyholders are looking for too.”

BIPA Members Meeting: Feb 25th 2015

The next meeting of BIPA will be at 6pm on Wednesday 25th February in the Peninsula Room at the Barbados Hilton Hotel. Although this meeting is for members only, non-members can join BIPA at the meeting on presentation of ID and a policy related letter or copy of their CLICO or BAICO policy and payment of the annual membership fee of $200, which provides group legal representation, up-to-date information & documentation, and strength in numbers.

BIPA urges all existing members of BIPA to come to the meeting, and invites non-member policyholders to join the Alliance at this critical time, not only to keep up with developments, but to ensure their voices are heard moving forward.

For more details call 230 1026.




“Smoke, mirrors and nothing more than a public relations charade!” That is how June Fowler, President of The Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA) now describes the statement made by Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler, on 18th December last, in the light of news that hundreds of CLICO pensioners will now have to suck salt fromthis month.

A Representative of the CLICO Judicial Manager, Deloitte advised the BIPA President today that, effective immediately, those traditional policyholders who have been receiving their pensions on a monthly basis will no longer do so as CLICO has run out of cash and payments can no longer continue because the long promised, Cabinet approved injection of funds to sustain the operations of the company and proceed with the proposed re-structuring has not been forthcoming.

“We are so sick of the stream of false promises relating to CLICO dating right back to those made by the late Prime Minister in 2009 and others since, none of which have been fulfilled,” laments Fowler. “It is nothing less than a national disgrace that the nefarious actions of a small number of people can be allowed to continue to destroy the lives of so many in Barbados, some of whom have now died without seeing or knowing what will happen to their lifelong savings.”

The latest blow would appear to confirm that CLICO has indeed run out of funds and, as claimed by the Judicial Manager, it has no option but to put the company into liquidation. And this despite the Minister of Finance’s assertion in his press release last December that “any attempts to place CLICO International Life or its associated companies into liquidation will therefore be premature, unwarranted and unnecessary.” To date, neither the Judicial Manager, nor BIPA have been contacted by the “newly appointed” Directors of the company the Minister of Finance claimed last December had been set up to co-ordinate the execution of the restructuring plan.

The BIPA President hopes that the creation of the company referred to by the Minister is not simply an attempt to further delay a resolution to the entire CLICO fiasco, adding that she wonders if the Minister, and others, realise that this latest development will not only slash the income of hundreds of pensioners, but will also reduce by over $1 million a month the amount of cash being spent by these pensioners which will now be taken out of circulation in the economy, putting a further strain on businesses and threatening jobs.


This is a reminder for members to attend the BIPA SECOND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18, 2014 at the Anne Johnson Memorial Auditorium, St. Gabriel’s School, Henry’s Lane, Collymore Rock, St. Michael from 6.00 – 8.00 p.m.

  1. Ascertainment of Quorum in accordance with Organization’s By-laws
  2. Welcome Remarks and Introductions
  3. Confirmation of Proxies
  4. Confirmation of Minutes of first annual general meeting held June 6, 2013
  5. Matters Arising from the Minutes
  6. Presentation of Reports:
    1. President
    2. Membership
    3. Public Relations Committee
    4. Treasurer
    5. Auditor’s Report and Presentation of audited financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2014
  7. Appointment of auditors for the year ending March 31, 2015
  8. Appointment of Directors and Officers according to By-laws
  9. Any other business
  10. Adjournment of business meeting
  11. Refreshments

BIPA ready for court

PEOPLE HOLDING CLICO and British American Insurance Company (BAICO) policies are gearing up for a round of court hearings that could signal the end of a five year fight for compensation.

Last Wednesday the Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA) selected separate committees to continue the work on the two cases, amidst reports that a judge had been assigned to the case and policyholders could be days away from the start of the court process.

Each committee consists of about five policyholders and reflects the variety of investments – including life insurance, pensions and Executive Flexible Premium Annuity (EFPA) policies – in the two businesses, whose problems worsened in 2009 when parent company CL Financial started its meltdown.

Selection of the committees was finalised at a BIPA meeting held in the Ann Johnson Auditorium at St Gabriel’s School, with BIPA president June Fowler saying that once the agency and its committees were accepted by the court as part of the judicial process to resolve the CLICO/BAICO problems, BIPA would be the only representative for all the policyholders, whether members of the alliance or not.

“Any decisions that are made by us will affect everybody else,” she told the gathering.


BIPA officials are of the view that at this point both the CLICO judicial manager and any judge assigned to the case would want to open the door for them, the argument being that a judge would want to know that the policyholders were properly represented and when he was making an order he had some comfort that the policyholders had had their input.

BIPA officials anticipate a series of court hearings that would address competing claims for compensation – including those from corporate and other investors.

The BIPA meeting came Cabinet’s formal approval of the terms and conditions associated with the restructuring of the local operations of CLICO International Life Insurance Ltd (CIL).

Information coming out of the meeting indicated that the CLICO case might be closer than the BAICO matter to settlement.

However, BIPA is seeking clarity on a number of issues, including interest rates in relation to annuities and details about NEWCO, a new insurance company to take over the CLICO insurance business, as well as about separate entities which will own the real estate and other illiquid CLICO assets.

BIPA is also expected to look at finding “mechanisms for early cash”, to ease people urgently needing substantial sums and the elderly who do not want to wait long periods for their investments to mature.

The BIPA meeting was addressed by Alair Shepherd QC and Peter Douglas, advisors to the alliance. (TY)

Weekend Nation Friday June 6th 2014