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Carmona gets HCU enquiry report

Friday, July 18, 2014

President Anthony Carmona was presented yesterday with the report on the commission of enquiry into the events surrounding the collapse of the Hindu Credit Union Co-operative Society (HCU). The report was compiled by Sir Anthony Colman, the sole commissioner. The enquiry was set up on November 15, 2010 by former president Prof George Maxwell Richards, following the failure in 2008-2009 of the HCU and CL Financial Ltd, Colonial Life Insurance Company (Trinidad) Ltd, Clico Investment Bank, British American Insurance Company (Trinidad) Ltd and Caribbean Money Market Brokers Ltd.


Colman, in his address at the handing-over ceremony, said he was yet to complete the report on the Clico group as it involved further work and could not be completed by the end of the year.
He added that it appeared at a very early stage in the enquiry that the scope of its terms of reference gave rise to organisational problems. He said: “In particular there was very little overlap between the evidence relating to the Clico companies and that relating to HCU. “Secondly, the investigation of what had gone wrong involved an extremely long timespan going back over nine years of trading... five million documents to consider. “Thirdly, the number of essential parties and witnesses was inevitably going to be very considerable.”


In the two parts, 57 witnesses gave evidence, 33 of whom were subpoenaed. There were 14 Clico parties, nine HCU parties and 35 HCU witnesses. Colman said that made it administratively impossible to run both parts of the enquiry simultaneously. The hearings occupied 85 sitting days, of which 27 were devoted to the HCU. The first HCU witnesses gave evidence on July 4, 2011 and the last on May 2, 2013.


Some Key areas of the enquiry

The circumstances, factors, causes and reasons leading to the January 2009 intervention by the Government for the rehabilitation of four of the Clico companies; n The causes, reasons and circumstances leading to the deterioration of the financial condition of the Clico Companies and HCU which threatened the interest of depositors, investors, policyholders, creditors and shareholders.

The effectiveness of the auditing and regulatory bodies with oversight responsibilities, including the Central Bank and the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Whether any third party acted in a manner that misled depositors, investors, policyholders, creditors and shareholders by negligently or fraudulently misrepresenting the true financial status of the companies.


To make findings and recommendations as to any grounds for criminal or civil proceedings and whether such proceedings should be recommended to the DPP or the AG.


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