Tag Archives: CLICO

Open Letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) about the CLICO (Barbados) Scandal

Walter Blackman - Actuary and Social Commentator

Walter Blackman – Actuary and Social Commentator

Dear Mr. Leacock,

I am a citizen and taxpayer of Barbados. I am also a pension actuary.

My fundamental responsibility, as an actuary, is to provide services skilfully and competently, to operate with integrity, and to uphold and protect the public trust. I believe your chosen profession has imposed similar responsibilities upon you. By definition, therefore, whenever the public trust is involved, your objectives and mine are always convergent.

For the past couple of years, I have watched in dismay as pieces of information doled out for public consumption revealed how a major life insurance company operating in Barbados was stripped of almost four hundred million dollars of its assets.

Barbadian observers have recoiled in sheer disgust and anger as evidence from reliable sources suggest that our laws were systematically and disdainfully trampled by a group of persons, some of whom masqueraded as executive managers of the ill-fated insurance company, and some of whom pretended to be statesmen.

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What Lies Beneath

David:

The inability of the authorities in Trinidad AND Barbados to fully unravel the CL Financial mess and by extension CLICO in Barbados shines a bright light on an inadequate regional governance system.  There is also the insight to be gained by Barbadians from a Trinidad jurisdiction where Transparency Legislation is enacted and operationalized.    What have we learned that has forced to improve how pan-Caribbean institutions are regulated.

Originally posted on AfraRaymond.com:

The public is being told that the CL Financial bailout is being resolved, while at the same time the Minister of Finance & the Economy is withholding the fundamental information which any prudent person would need to make a decision.  So, what is the secret?

Apart from the details I have been asking for, there are other questions which occur to me –

  1. Directors’ Fees – What is the comparative level of Directors’ fees before and after the bailout on 30 January 2009?  In particular, what are the fees & expenses payable to CL Financial Directors?  Have those increased?  If so, to what level and on what rationale?
  2. Related Party dealings – We were told that one of the main causes of the CL Financial collapse was excessive related-party transactions.  Has that pattern of dealings has really changed? What are the contracts between the group and companies in which Directors hold…

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Canada Loyal Financial to CLICO’s Rescue…?

Canada Loyal Life reported to be coming to rescue CLICO

Canada Loyal Financial reported to be coming to rescue CLICO

There was a report in the local press on the weekend that Canada Loyal Financial is interested in bailing out CLICO. The policyholders have been emitting noises of quiet optimism since the announcement. Some of us however are alarmed a foreigner stands to own a significant acreage of our lands.  If Canada Loyal Financial is able to acquire CLICO it makes a mockery of the government stated claim that it bought the old Heywoods property was in the national interest.  At this point we can only speculate on the Nation newspaper report.

Who is Canada Loyal Financial?

CL Financial bailout – Paying the Devil

Originally posted on AfraRaymond.com:

paying the devilToday is the 30th of January 2014: five years since the State bailout of CL Financial was announced to a shocked nation and region. It is necessary to mark this moment in time with solid facts and stern meditation.

The Carnival season is upon us, so J’ouvert is near the front of my thoughts. J’ouvert is simple, yet tremendous, because of the experience of passing from night into daylight and of course those around you becoming clearer as the light overcomes the darkness. For me, the defining feature of Jouvert is the terrifying portrayals of ‘Devil mas‘ in its various forms – ugly and dirty, covered with mud, oil or paint; real noisy, beating pitch-oil tins and such; forceful, in demanding payment from you before you could pass. You have to pay the Devil to go away. Pay the Devil, so he could leave without dirtying you up.

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Integrity and Education On the Backs of Fallen Leaders

Fruendel Stuart (r) Arthur (l)

Fruendel Stuart (r) Owen Arthur (l) Photo: Nation Newspaper

Noam Chomsky opines thatit is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies”. It begs the question do we have intellectuals in Barbados? Who are they? BU adds another question to the pile – is there morality in local politics?

During the last general election Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart was portrayed as a man of integrity when compared to Owen Arthur. Whether one agrees who won the integrity vote Stuart did not object to the comparison. One year later BU believes Stuart has fallen short of being a man of integrity. Before the political cackle begins it is instructive to lookup the definition of integrity, the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness”. Did Prime Minister Stuart and his Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite now appointed admit that they witnessed unsavoury (illegal) events during election day? The Prime Minister promised he would check every election law  on the books and bring the matter to parliament to prevent recurrence and in the process finger the culprits.

On another front BU is reliably informed that the government had been in discussion with the NUPW to send home workers for several weeks before the recent announcement. One must reasonably conclude that Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart – who is the minister responsible for the civil service had to be aware of the decision to retrench workers a long time before it was announced. Remember when the SmartStream system was blamed by Stuart as the reason why temporary workers were not paid? We subsequently found out that temporary workers are not registered on this system for payroll. The decision to send home workers was not arrived at overnight. During the time the discussions were being held the Prime Minister suggested there was a computer glitch when many public officers complained about not being paid. We hesitate to call Prime Minister Stuart a liar BUT he has been less than transparent about government’s position on the tenure of public servants.

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The Wolf is at the Door

Walter Blackman

Walter Blackman

When judged against the harsh background of adversarial politics, only two prime ministers of Barbados (who led the country for 7 years or more) can lay claim to being able to escape the clutches of the IMF for the entire period of their rule – Errol Barrow and Owen Arthur.

Say whatever you will, it is an undeniable fact that Barrow and Arthur were able to utilize whatever resources they had available at their disposal without plunging the Barbadian economy into disequilibrium. This achievement in itself represents a public demonstration of their political and economic skills. One was from the DLP, and the other is from the BLP, but we must commend and applaud both of them equally for distinguishing themselves in this regard.

Borrowing, taxation, and easily accessible NIS funds were the main resources available to Barrow, Arthur, and all Ministers of Finance. Naturally these resources varied in amount as administrations came and went.

By the time the David Thompson administration assumed office in early 2008, the world had changed drastically. Volatility and uncertainty had become so widespread that the Governor of the Central Bank informed and warned all Barbadians that the macroeconomic models used to analyze and predict outcomes under the “old” economic order, were no longer applicable.

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CIBC First Caribbean International Bank Instructs Leroy Parris to Take a Hike

Court Order: Professional Services Inc AND CIBC FICB

Court Order: Professional Services Inc AND CIBC FICB

CL Financial bailout – Really learning from the past

David:

It seems Barbadians have forgotten about CLICO and all the promises but what have we learned from the collapse? How have we sought to strengthen institutional capacity as a response? Is the Financial Services Commission (FSC) doing a job? Should Barbadians be privy to the sealed judicial report? What about those who were involved with CLICO Barbados and continue business as usual?

Afra Raymond’s journey in Trinidad covering CL Financial matters should serve to inspire others. This piece is recommended reading.

Originally posted on AfraRaymond.com:

CB-gov - TTCSII am responding to the points made by Central Bank Governor, Jwala Rambarran, in his 6 November speech to the T&T Coalition of Service Industries.

This speech attempted to both re-affirm the Central Bank’s important role in our economy –

…as the country‟s prime financial regulator, the Central Bank has an almost fifty year record of maintaining the safety and soundness of the financial system…

and to distinguish Rambarran’s tenure as Governor since July 2012 –

…These are just a few of the initiatives the Central Bank has been working on over the last fifteen months to rebuild confidence, strengthen financial stability and to help create our future financial system…

Rambarran’s focus was “…First, “How did it all happen?” and, second…“What is being done to prevent a similar event from happening again?…”

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AUDIO: "Forward Thinkers" on More 104.7FM – 24 October 2013

David:

Keeping the spotlight on the CLICO Mess.

Originally posted on AfraRaymond.com:

Radio More FM 104.7 Afra Raymond chats on the show ’Forward Thinkers‘ with David Walker on 104.7FM, dealing with the CL Financial bailout and my lawsuit against the Minister of Finance to get at the detailed information as to how the $24B in Public Money was spent. 24 October 2013. Audio courtesy More 104.7 FM

  • Programme Date: Thursday 24th October 2013
  • Programme Length: 0:45:41

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CLICO: Is and Therefore

The CLICO mess thickens

The CLICO mess thickens

In the business section of BBC of 19 June 2013 there was a headline Deloitte gets one-year New York ban In the world of global finance it represented a routine report given the vagaries of how business is done today.  Then it dawned on the author to question – why is it regulators in Barbados are never driven to censor the entities which they regulate? Is the corporate climate in Barbados so  principled as to avoid the censure from those with oversight?

Then there is the association to be made between Deloitte,  who is the Judicial Manager of CLICO and PriceWaterhouse (PWC), who acted before as external auditors for CLICO Barbados. Why have we not been asking robust questions of PWC?   It seems all of the focus has been directed at Leroy Parris, and yes he should be held to account given his fiduciary role. However, if we want to fully prove what led to the demise of one of the largest privately own conglomerates in the Caribbean, we need to cast the net far and wide.

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