CLICO clients to be repaid
GEORGETOWN, Guyana – President Bharrat Jagdeo has told policyholders with the troubled Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) Guyana that they would be repaid their investments after his administration had been able to secure the GUY$3.6 billion (US$14.7 million) for that purpose.
“This amount of 3.6 billion dollars will be utilised to finance the payout of policyholders . . . and we are hoping that within weeks we can start this payout,” he said.
He said that GUY$2.7 billion (US$9.8 million) would be used “to pay off in full all holders of investment, annuity policy and other insurance liabilities not in dispute”.
Jagdeo said that the insurance company, whose problems are linked to the financial problems plaguing its parent company, the Trinidad-based conglomerate CL Financial, had assets amounting to nearly GUY$800 million (US$3.9 million) which GUY$100 million (US$490 797) had been set aside for a long-term portfolio to sell to another insurance company.
Last week, Trinidad and Tobago’s Finance Minister Winston Dookeran told Parliament that as of June this year, CLICO and British American’s combined total liabilities were approximately $23.8 billion (US$3.9 billion) with total assets of $16.6 billion (US$2.7 billion).
Jagdeo, who met with policyholders earlier this week, said that he would be working closely with the Guyana Central Bank and other stakeholders to ensure that payments were made to policyholders and other investors.
He has also given the assurance that his government would continue to safeguard policy holders with other insurance companies in the future.
“That is why we fought tooth and nail to get this one resolved now and I am glad we got it within a year and a half . . . . I am determined to never let that happen again in this country, that poor people must suffer because some large people supported by political consultants delayed people from getting their money,” Jagdeo said.
He said Guyana was the only Caribbean country so far where policyholders had been given an assurance that their monies would be returned in full.
“I am not going to go by what happens in the Bahamas, Trinidad or Barbados, this is a different country, [Guyana] is the only country that agreed to give everybody back their money, every cent of it,” he added.
Last year, the regulators in the Bahamas were successful in obtaining a liquidation order from the courts while the Guyana government was also successful in getting the courts here to issue an order placing CLICO under judicial management.
CLICO Guyana has GUY$6.9 billion (US$34 million) invested in CLICO Bahamas which represents 53 per cent of the Guyana Company’s total assets. (CMC)