Clico policyholders in Barbados want it all
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday October 06, 2011 – The Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA) is ready to do “battle” to ensure that Clico investors and policyholders across Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean to get 100% of their investments in Clico.
This was the clear message sent by the BIPA in a Press statement issued this morning following their evaluation of the various options presented to Clico policyholders and investors at a recent series of meetings called by judicial manager for Clico, Deloitte Consulting Ltd.
“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,” was the punchy language used by the non-profit lobby group.
While stating that BIPA thoroughly appreciated and welcomed “the sterling and timely work” by the judicial manager, it expressed concerns that the proposal by Deloitte Consulting to liquidate the assets of Clico that could be traced and identified up to the time when the judicial manager submitted its report to the law courts on July 28 would disenfranchise Clico policyholders in Barbados and countries throughout the Eastern Caribbean by giving them less than 50 cents on the dollar for their investments. This scenario was likely, pointed out BIPA, because Deloitte Consulting stated at the time of the report that they could not account for approximately $350 million in Clico assets.
Chairperson of BIPA, June Fowler, emphasised 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. This, reiterated Fowler, was still very much the focus and goal of BIPA.
“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,” stated the release.
BIPA also noted that they found to be “more palatable” the four alternative options presented by a committee, including representatives from the Central Bank of Barbados, the Caribbean Development Bank and the Ministry of Finance, which each required varying degrees of funding from the governments of each of the affected countries.
BIPA said that it was only right for the regional governments to assist in the funding of the proposed solutions, given their “culpability”, “the negligence of their agencies” and their “procrastination”. The pressure group said there was a price to be paid for such abandon and disregard, and governments should pay the price.
While there has been concern about the length of time in which any of these options could take to be exercised, BIPA assured its constituents that it would 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,” stressed the organisation.