The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is still waiting on US$64 million from Trinidad & Tobago to satisfy policyholders in Grenada after the collapse six years ago of British American Insurance Company (BAICO) and CLICO.
According to ECCB Governor, Grenadian Timothy Antoine, only US$36 of the US$100 million promised by Port-of-Spain have been received, resulting in approximately 8000 people getting paid.
The collapse of the insurance company in 2010 saw many policyholders losing millions of dollars amidst an uphill battle by them over the years to get reimbursement of their monies.
Antoine said there are still thousands of persons awaiting payment from BAICO and CLICO and their plight is not being helped due to the fact that Trinidad and Tobago is going through a recession.
Speaking to reporters in St. George’s at a press conference, the ECCB boss indicated that the bank has asked the relevant authorities in the twin republic to give the money in tranches.
“So if we get US $10 million for example, we’ll be able to take care of the policyholders who have not been paid. Take in Grenada for example, we had a situation where there are about 182 policyholders who were supposed to get a $30,000 cheque, the cheques were ready to be issued, no money in banks because Trinidad and Tobago did not come in as planned as promised. We are still unable to release those cheques…if we get those monies then we would make those cheques available,” he said.
“I want to make the point that while we happy that Trinidad and Tobago has taken care of its policyholders and it did so by taking assets (from CLICO and BAICO) and so on…we feel a similar consideration ought to be given to ECCU policyholders and we certainly are against any attempt to hand back the company to the owners while we remain unpaid. Some arrangements have to be made to take care of ECCU policyholders…we will continue the struggle as long as it takes,” he added.
Antoine also addressed the issue of “the plan of arrangement bill” that was passed last year by government aimed at enacting special laws to implement a plan of arrangement for insurance creditors of BAICO to the ECCU.
Stating that this has now been passed by a number of other countries, he said this is definitely good news for policyholders.
“The plan of arrangement bill which was passed last year by the government has now been passed in 5 almost 6 countries. We expect that by the end of July 7 of our countries would have passed it…also once the Bahamas does, then we’ll be able to go to court and then make a next pay out to British American policyholders…hopefully that would be done later this year,” Antoine stated.
According to Antoine, the struggle is still on with CLICO International Life Insurance Company Limited as the ECCU is still battling with the issue in Barbados.
“We took the matter to court, we have lost part of it, and we appealed part of it. That is still in court and we continue to push for an equitable and just settlement…fully transparent settlement that takes account of both the needs of Barbadians and ECCU policy holders,” he remarked.