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CLICO sorry


by WADE GIBBONS

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CLICO International Life Insurance (CIL) has been issuing letters of apology to policyholders for the inability to honour its financial obligations.The correspondence blamed the company’s liquidity problems on the near collapse of its Trinidad and Tobago-based parent company, CL Financial, as well as policyholders withdrawing their investments.The company informed policyholders that it was working with the assistance of a consulting actuary and accounting firm Ernst & Young to develop a proposal on the options available to settle its obligations. Ernst & Young is also preparing a report to illustrate how Government can provide temporary liquidity support.The company’s liquidity headache is exacerbated by a massive multi-million-dollar deficit in its statutory fund, as well as an imminent $300 million demand on the Executive Flexible Premium Annuities.CIL, a subsidiary of CLICO Holdings Barbados Limited (CHBL), said it expected to have the final Ernst & Young report and a response from Government on the extent of its involvement “within the next few weeks”.“At this time, we will be in a position to definitively outline the course of action to policyholders on how our obligations to them can be settled,” the letter said.An Oversight Committee was established through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Government and CLICO early last year to, among other things, attract a buyer for CIL. But due to the company’s liquidity problems those efforts have failed thus far. Last March, committee chairman William Layne said that if they failed to find a buyer for CIL by 2012, CLICO assets would have to be sold. That committee officially ended its assignment on June 12.Recently, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley called for an urgent Government response in the face of the end of the committee’s tenure.She queried what steps Government would take to ensure that no further money was extracted from the company by any CLICO executive in the absence of the Oversight Committee. CHBL’s executive chairman Leroy Parris has been the subject of recent public calls to return all monies paid to him by CIL and CLICO Mortgage & Financial Corporation, in the face of other policyholders and investors not being able to obtain theirs.These demands have echoed those directed at CL Financial where a former corporate secretary, Gita Sakal, was made to return US$5 million paid to her by CLICO Energy Co Ltd.

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