ECCB Governor-elect Antoine gives update on returning of monies to Policyholders

The man appointed to succeed Sir Dwight Venner as Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Timothy Antoine is confident that the information he is privy to will give some leeway in moving things along in the CLICO/BAICO debacle facing policyholders.

The new Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Timothy Antoine has indicated that his new position, which will become official on February 1 will allow him to provide some more insight into the Clico/Baico issue and the return of monies to Policyholders Antoine was speaking to members of the local media last week Monday during a briefing about his appointment as Governor of the ECCB.

The outgoing Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance is Chairman of the Technical Core Committee of the Clico/Baico Policy holders.

Although Antoine will no longer hold that position after February 1, he is confident that the wealth of information that he has on the issue will put him in a good position to move things along.

“I am very, very familiar with the issues and the challenges in that regard and from my new role will of course want to do what I can. It is also a financial stability issue in part”, he told reporters.

According to Antoine, the CLICO/BAICO issue concerns financial stability and economic activity and from that perspective, “I certainly will be supportive of that agenda – that’s a very important issue”.

The collapse of the Clico/Baico investments in 2009 has left the Trinidad-based companies in billions of dollars of debt and many policyholders especially in the OECS member territories are trying to recover their monies.

Antoine said one of the conference calls he had last Friday after getting the call that he has been appointed new ECCB Governor was with the Judicial Manager of British American.

One of the issues that came up was the plan surrounding an arrangement law that would soon be passed in nearly every country affected in order to make way for some closure to be brought to  the plight of the policyholders.

He said the Judicial Manager and others “were in a meeting and they asked me to call in to join them and you remember the plan of arrangement law that was passed in September, that law has now been passed in St Vincent and the Grenadines and in Antigua and Barbuda and I anticipate that it will (be) passed shortly in some of the other countries.

“…Once that law is passed and it has to be passed in the Bahamas as well, some months after that there will be a payout, a further payout for British American Policyholders,” he said.

“So this year, they’re going to be some positive developments – that’s all I would say and of course I’m aware of the private initiative by the policyholders association (of) Baico and Clico which we were supportive of and clearly we want to see that go forward and get results,” he added.

The BAICO and CLICO Policyholders Group of Grenada (BACOL) involves Dr. Patrick Antoine, the Trinidad-based Grenadian born Strategic Advisor to the Mitchell Administration.

The group is selling a proposal to help policyholders recover their monies in return for a percentage.

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