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Make or break meeting for Clico policyholders this week
BRIDGETOWN—The financial fate of thousands of Clico policyholders across the region hinges on this week’s Caricom Finance Ministers’ meeting at which proposals by the judicial managers are to be presented and discussed. Barbados Minister of Finance Christopher Sinckler is predicting that unless a collective agreement can be reached on a way forward for the failed insurance company by himself and his regional counterparts, devastation could ensue.
This was strongly expressed by Sinckler as he updated Barbados on the government’s position on Clico during a near four-hour delivery of this year’s financial statement and budgetary proposals. The deficit between the fair market value of the total assets of Clico and its liabilities to policyholders is a little more than US$200 million, with St Kitts and Nevis being the only territory where the assets exceeded liabilities—US$6.59 million in assets owned versus US$4.49 million owed to policyholders.
St Vincent and Grenada showed the deepest deficits of $US42 million and US$43 million, respectively. Sinckler told the House of Assembly: “It is important to appreciate, sir, that, should this effort at a resolution fail, the likelihood of a disorderly and separated resolution on a country-by-country basis will ensue with likely devastating consequences for thousands of policyholders, including those in Barbados, as the company will be forced into liquidation and become entangled in myriad legal suits.”
The finance minister said it’s hoped when he and a team from his ministry participate in the regional meeting tomorrow, that “these proposals or some amended version of them will be given broad support and receive the general endorsement of all of the affected regional governments, with each accepting an agreed share of the responsibility for the execution of the proposal.”
Sinckler said “a shared responsibility” was critical, since it would ensure “policyholders in each country will be given the only reasonable solution to their predicament, and regional governments a responsible and palatable burden to carry.
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