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PORT OF SPAIN - On September 1, Colonial Life Insurance Company of (Trinidad) Ltd (CLICO) ceased writing new business with limited exceptions.
It is part of the company’s restructuring, said CLICO chairman Gerald Yetming in a newspaper advertisement yesterday, which sought to update stakeholders on the company’s status.
The notice explained that the company’s insurance agents will demit office on September 24 but that measures were in place to continue providing services for CLICO’s customers.
“The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago remains committed to pursuing the resolution of CLICO in the interest of policyholders and creditors, in accordance with the requirements of the law.
“We will continue to renew all Group Health and Life contracts, receive and process your premiums, honour your health and life claims, pay your monthly pension and provide the excellent CLICO service to which you are accustomed,” said Yetming.
In May, the Central Bank confirmed that the insurance company, which had received a Government bailout after it became cash-strapped in 2009, was up for sale and “will conduct the process for the sale and transfer of CLICO’s traditional insurance portfolio on a transparent, open market basis”.
In an interview with the Sunday Express last week, Finance Minister Larry Howai said the Government was waiting on a valuation on the assets and liabilities of CLICO from actuaries and expected to receive it in the next month.
Once in hand, a decision will be made on the way forward.
In his national budget statement yesterday [Sunday], Howai noted that CLICO has done “exceptionally well in terms of writing new business while maintaining substantial traditional business throughout the crisis”.
“Government is taking steps to recover the outlay which became necessary to contain the crisis in CLICO and the CLICO Investment Bank which also impacted their parent company, CL Financial Ltd. To effect an orderly settlement of this debt, Government has embarked on a medium-term strategy to secure the return of the outlay of these funds.
“This has informed the basic parameters of a comprehensive Shareholders’ Agreement, a key component of which is a proper restructuring of those companies with proper governance practices in what is left of the Group. We now await the outcome of the Methanol Holdings arbitration. Following this, a more detailed report will be provided,” he said.
He explained that without the intervention, “We would have seen many of the companies in the Group facing liquidation with the attendant loss of jobs and other social and economic hardships which generally accompany such occurrences”.