Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler. (FP)
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PARLIAMENT HAS APPROVED a near $100 million financial lifeline for about 15 000 British American Insurance Company (BAICO) policyholders and employees.
In a measured tabled by Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Chris Sinckler, Government will facilitate a $84.6 million bond issue for Sagicor Life Inc. to take over BAICO’s life insurance business.
The Freundel Stuart-led administration will also allocate $8 million in cash to preserve the pension plans of 72 BAICO employees.
As he faced criticism from the Opposition about some aspects of the liabilities Government was taken on in the deal, Sinckler told the House of Assembly that the BAICO rescue plan was “fair and reasonable”.
The plan included Government accepting control of the insurer’s $26.6 million in assets.
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley, in her contribution to the debate, said when coupled with the CLICO rescue plan, Government and by extension Barbadian tax payers now had more than $400 million in additional debt to meet.
She said Government could have done more, including permitting a wider forensic audit into CLICO/BAICO, thereby increasing its chance of recouping more finances. (SC)