The Barbadian government is preparing to finance settlements to stricken CLICO policyholders, including those here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves disclosed.
In response to a question posed by Leader of the Opposition Dr Godwin Friday during the July 25 Meeting of Parliament to give an update on the status of efforts to recover the investments of local policyholders affected by the collapse of CLICO, Gonsalves said that the Barbadian government has offered a bond of BBD$37 million, of which the sum of BBDS$9 million is expected to be allocated to settle claims here.
But while the Barbadian government has offered this long-term instrument to provide cash flows to settle claims of policy holders, Gonsalves declared that it was not reasonable to ask affected policy holders who have waited many years for a settlement, to now collect that settlement over a 15-year period.
So, the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) and the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in its capacity as a member of the Ministerial Sub-Committee on Insurance, have been working to find ways to monetize the bond to make cash payments.
“A trustee arrangement is likely to be put in place to manage the cash flows from the bond and as soon as a final decision is made on the mechanism and the formula for making the payments, the currency union in collaboration with ECCU governments will issue a detailed statement,” the Finance Minister explained.
And in a communique following the 102nd meeting of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank in July 2022, the council ratified the round robin decision approval of the trust arrangement regarding the bond proposal of BBD$37 million from the Government of Barbados.
The next scheduled meeting of the Ministerial Sub-committee on Insurance is August 12, 2022, Gonsalves said, after which the government of Barbados and the court system in that country will be duly informed of the progress of CLICO.
He said further that the next court date at which it is expected to inform the courts of the trustee arrangement is August 18, 2022.
Gonsalves, though, gave the assurance that they were trying to monetize the bond as quickly as possible, and they hoped to give the policy holders a one-off settlement based on this bond sometime within a six to twelve-month period.