BIPA not pushing for criminal action in CLICO collapse
Despite criminal charges being brought against a businessman in a multimillion-dollar vehicle scam, the group representing Barbadians who invested in Colonial Life Insurance Company Ltd. (CLICO) say they do not intend to press for similar action to be taken against those responsible for their predicament at this time.
In fact, chairperson of the Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA) June Fowler told Barbados TODAY their immediate focus would be on recouping the funds invested in CLICO.
“The main concern of the policyholders is to get what is due to them. We have not seen the final forensic audit report and we need to know exactly what that report showed. So if there is enough evidence to show that criminal charges should be brought, then they should be,” she said.
“But a lot of the people we are dealing with are elderly people and their main focus is, ‘can’t we just get our money and move on with the final years of our lives that we have?’”
Questions have been raised in some quarters about the authorities’ failure to bring criminal charges against anyone five years after the collapse of the insurance company.
Comparison was drawn to the 67 counts of fraud leveled against 59-year-old businessman Rodney Wilkinson, a director of Executive Rentals Inc. and Premier Pre-Owned Vehicles Inc.
Despite no movement on the criminal side in the CLICO matter, Fowler said BIPA had been seeing progress, behind the scenes, to address the repayment of policyholders although deadlines set were not being met.
“As a policyholder myself, of course I’m concerned that it has taken this long but that is how the process has been going. We are very frustrated with the whole process. There was a time when you thought that things were speeding ahead, moving ahead and then there was a lull, but things are happening again,” the BIPA chairperson said.
She said a meeting was held last week with the judicial manager Deloitte Consulting Ltd, but she declined to disclose the details of those discussions.
“Suffice it to say that we are aware of what has been happening. We’ve been having meetings with the judicial manager, not only for CLICO, but British American,” she explained.
Asked whether she was encouraged by the outcome of the meeting, Fowler responded: “Encouraged, but not overjoyed because, again, they give you a timeline and the timeline keeps being pushed back; so encouraged, but not jumping up and down and doing a happy dance.”
In May this year, Deloitte announced it had received confirmation that Cabinet had approved the terms and conditions of actions to be taken as set out in the restructuring of CLICO’s operations.
In relation to the recent announcement by the Trinidad and Tobago government that it intends to sell CLICO, Fowler said her group was keeping a close eye on that development.
However, she said it was still not clear whether Barbados was among countries earmarked to receive TT$258 million (BDS$86 million) for managing costs associated with the fallout.
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