Really, Leroy?

Dale Marshall astonished over comments made by former CIL boss

The President of the Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA), June Fowler, today refused to be drawn into robust public discussion which emanated from yesterday’s unsolicited public apology issued by Leroy Parris, while noting that the former executive chairman of CLICO International Life (CIL) was a defendant in one of two cases BIPA had filed in the High Court.

However, former Attorney General Dale Marshall did not hold back his tongue on the matter.

The Opposition Barbados Labour Party representative, who on Sunday night called for a criminal investigation into the CLICO debacle, said he was “truly astonished” at the comments made by the retired top executive, in an interview with reporters yesterday in which he broke his five-year public silence and apologised to policyholders, while maintaining his innocence of any wrongdoing.

Opposition MP Dale Marshall
Opposition MP Dale Marshall

“Parris clearly does not understand what his role as a director of those companies was at the time when he served in that capacity. It would appear to me that he did not fully grasp the nature of the fiduciary duty that he owed at law to those companies of which he was a director,” Marshall told Barbados TODAY.

“I am astonished and embarrassed that a person who has been at the helm of an enterprise in Barbados for many years could be so brazen as to stand up and pretend that he is hurt and has done nothing wrong in relation to these companies,” said Marshall amid a legal challenge brought by CIL’s judicial managers, Deloitte Consulting, who are now seeking to recoup over $3.3 million, which was said to have been paid out by the company to Parris via his former attorney, late Prime Minister David Thompson.

BIPA has also mounted legal action against 13 directors of CLICO and its sister company BAICO, including Parris and president Terrence Thornhill, for $128 million in negligence lawsuits. The court action seeks to recover $76 million from CLICO players and $52 million from those accused of negligence in the BAICO matter.

Commenting on the situation today, retired permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance and former chairman of the Oversight Committee of CLICO Holdings Barbados Ltd William Layne, as well as  former leading CLICO insurance executive Neval Greenidge were both adamant that there was a case to be answered in the wake of the 2009 collapse of Barbados-based CIL.

In an interview with Barbados TODAY Layne reiterated his earlier contention that if what happened with CIL had occurred in the United States “some people would have gone to prison already”.

However, he said he would only support the establishment of a commission of inquiry into the insurance entity if the terms of reference included power to recommend prosecution for anyone found guilty of wrongdoing.

“Other than that, it is a soap opera for entertainment for people. Unless the commission is going to have terms of reference that are going to recommend that legal action be taken against persons by the DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions], then it would be a soap opera,” he declared.

Suggesting that commissions of inquiry were more often than not political tools, Layne argued that “for all the ones that we have had already, nobody went to jail”.

“The only thing a commission would do is bring a lot of things to public knowledge. It might not be a bad thing, but in the end . . . the [CLICO] commission of inquiry in Trinidad was like a pre-Carnival celebration. It was a soap opera. It left more questions than answers.

“The problem in the Caribbean is that there is a complete lack of governance at both the corporate and political levels. So people do things and get away with them, depending on who they are. Only poor people go to prison in the Caribbean . . . That’s the tragedy in the Caribbean situation,” he argued.

Layne headed the six-member committee set up in 2009 by late Prime Minister Thompson to take control of CLICO Holdings Barbados Ltd to find buyers for three CLICO subsidiaries.

The committee had devised a plan to restructure the beleaguered CIL.

However, the company subsequently went into the hands of judicial managers.

Greenidge, a former leading CLICO insurance executive and retired police officer, said in a post on the Barbados TODAY website that he would support a criminal investigation or inquiry into the company and would be the first to give evidence.

“I am ready, willing and able and want to see justice for those unfortunate people [who have been] fleeced,” he said.

“I hurt everyday for my policyholders who I left there . . . When I read of them not being able to get their pensions nor send their children to school, it hurts from the pit of my stomach.”


9 Responses to Really, Leroy?

  1. Gail-Selina S. Hewitt-Clarke
    Gail-Selina S. Hewitt-Clarke February 4, 2015 at 5:43 am


  2. Dan Vaughn
    Dan Vaughn February 4, 2015 at 5:49 am

    Its amazing that Barbados is swamped by a lot of educated thieves and no good ministers everyone gets away with folly and this government isnt bringing anyone to justice goes to show how the prime minister and every senator thinks. How sad.

  3. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall February 4, 2015 at 6:22 am

    My hands real clean

  4. Tony Webster February 4, 2015 at 7:02 am

    There are several “good”-indeed critically imporortant-things, that might yet come out of this particular “Nazareth”; rebuke the accumultaed filth about us; , and in the process teach us , and guide a great many of us. This will include, our political leaders; “professionals” in whom to whom we often repose misguided and naive trust…perhaps just because they live in a “big” home…in a “good” area, and have a “big’ ride, and are seen at “nice” events, complete with a champagne flute, flashing smiles at other members of the elegantsia in glittering colour as we read…our local “glossies”. Kudoes to BT for one memorable shot of Leroy, just as the CLICO thing hit the fan…with “flute’ of bubbly…and smile!
    This cleansing, however, shall need also to percolate , and permeate, the consciousness of the average bajan Joe and Jane: to take a long hard look, and what they do with their money after working for it for long, and hard years. It inescapably has a direct link…to “education”, in its widest perspective.
    There is so much blame to go around, that I’d rather just mention a few really notable ones:-
    1. Regulators of matters which closely embrace the the public’s interest, must keenly monitor; regularly check; issue timely reports (to which the public has access) and act fairly and fearlessly. This particularly applies to the likes of the Financial Services Authority, the Constabulary, the Judiciary, our Educational structure (and its policies and management). Some responsibility must also touch our Ministers, even if by way of allowing us full and timely access to public records and data (even if we have to prise it out of their clenched teeth)

    2. Our legal “Aegean stables” must have a colon-cleanse…or just borrow the whole nine yards currently is use in N.Z. or summuch.

    3. We cannot continue to blithely say we are 99.9% literate, as a synonym for “being educated”. Putting aside the ignomy of having to coerce many undergrads to endure “remedial english and maths”, how might we characterise the handing-over of our hard-earned money…and yet regard ourselves as “educated”… CLICO: Barbados Foundry: Trade Confirmers: …and not fotgetting other (foreign) masterpieces like Merricks, Harlequin, Fourteen Seasons, etcetera and ad nauseum? I’m starting a “meeting-turn”’and I sincerely expect to give you 25% per month. Takers?
    4. May I suggest, that each student departing secondary school, should do so with basic grasp of what maketh a really-worthwhile “citizen” . Apart from the usual technical elements, this must include components of Good manners; grooming/ deportment/punctuality; dispute-settlement-sans-weapons; how to mamange one’s money (budgeting, and investment); an appreciation of the many blessings of participating in a young democracy… and including commensurate duties and obligations; how the Law works, in it’s criminal and civil jurisdictions. One’s responsibilities when marrying, (or mekking a good live-wid), and what to do to become an outstanding parent.

    Most importantly…how to utilize those five human senses…which if actually brought to bear on any opportunity..or any adversity…will enable every breathing Bajan to get a Doctorate-summa-cum-laude-cum-money, plus milk and honey…in “OAR”
    1. Observe
    2. Analyse
    3. Reach your OWN conclusion.
    (with some effort)…Q.E.D.

  5. Jenny Maynard
    Jenny Maynard February 4, 2015 at 8:25 am

    My hands r clean too and i ‘am in my garden digging up in mud. Look at he his face he is wondering if we really believe he.

  6. Lucene Boyce February 4, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Mr Parris’ hands are clean but under his fingers are very muddy. Surely, Mr Parris we are ‘intelligent’ people don’t try to fool us that you are so honest. At least you are more sensible than us because you and your ‘partners’ got out their money and we fools allowed Mr David Thompson to tell us that everything is fine in CLICO. Keep on living extravagant Mr Parris you can afford to with our money.

    Why can’t they have an enquiry into the investors who lost money in Trade Confirmers. Thousands of dollars were lost by those investors and people even had to seek help from mental illness.

  7. Linda Freeman February 4, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    My hands are also clean too but I know this is one show that I will put on my finest garments to witness, so many names are going to be called there will be more questions than they are answers. Parris h

  8. Linda Freeman February 4, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Parris hands are clean I hey wondering whose hands are dirty this is going to be a Lifetime movie with lots of hold your breath , I told you so, shockers, twist and laughs

  9. Maxine Hutchinson February 5, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Do not for one minute believe that agencies like CLICO, Trade Confirmers and the like are the only ones who fleece persons out of money. Look into the banking system now.

    Can you imagine entering a mortgage with a banking institution in 2005 and nine years later, having made monthly payments without fail directly from your salary, you only find out on the eve of old years day 2014 that you had “re-financed your mortgage” 26 months after (January 2008) it had begun in 2005?

    Not being made aware of such, you again enter two other transactions with the said institution – in 2006 for a separate loan with its own payment ($330.00) and again in 2011, I requested a small bit more for consolidation and minor repairs to the house. The smaller loan was added to the loan of 206 and my payment was increased from $330.00 to $478.00 which I still pay at present.

    I discovered on 30th December 2014 that I have been paying a combined loan with one payment ($478.00 monthly), your mortgage with another ($882.94) but that the smart officer of the institution have added the combined loan to the mortgage of 2005, increased my mortgage balance and I am still paying the combined loan by itself to date.

    Also, over a nine year period of paying the said banking institution an average of $946.00 per month for the past 111 months (9 years and 3 months) – being approximately $104,000.00 over the 9-year period, that they have appropriated the sum of just over $5,800.00 to my principal of 2995.

    I also found out on Old Year’s Eve of 2014 that the Officer and her Boss (who continues to be sing his tenor notes sweetly) had given me – unknown to myself, at the age of 51 in 2008, up until 2038 (33 years) to repay a total mortgage of $110,000.00 that I had begun in 2005?

    These are the things that happen when we repose our trust and confidence in persons within financial institutions. Since I had begun making queries about my accounts, the manager has since retired and the Officer has been transferred twice in a matter of months.


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