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Who controls Clico and to what end?

Thursday, May 22, 2014
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Jwala Rambarran, Governor of the Central Bank

On Monday, the Central Bank issued an extraordinary press release in which it purported that it “is in control of Clico, pursuant to Section 44D of the Central Bank Act” and that it “is the only entity empowered to restructure the business or undertakings of Clico.”


The statement from the Central Bank was extraordinary for several reasons, the first being that the Governor of the Central Bank obviously thought this release was important enough that he needed to append his signature and his job title to the bottom of it. 


This is out of the ordinary because the Central Bank issued releases on May 9 (on the availability of foreign exchange), March 13 (on fraudulent text messages) and on April 12 (on Dr Alvin Hilaire’s appointment as deputy governor) without the Governor thinking it necessary to inform the population that this was a public communication that came from him. 


The second reason Governor Jwala Rambarran’s statement was extraordinary was because he made it clear he was responding to reports made in the Sunday Business Guardian on May 18, 2014. The naming of the source of the information to which a response was given, while perfectly acceptable in terms of public communication by an important institution, is something that previous Central Bank governors have avoided, for obvious reasons. 


The third reason Governor Rambarran’s statement was out of the ordinary was that it was made in response (or it could be perceived to have been made in response) to comments made by the Minister of Finance, Larry Howai, that were reported in the last Sunday BG. 


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