CL Financial Bailout – the Caribbean Connection

Former Executive Chairman of CL Financial, parent company of CLICO

My previous article examined the November 2007 appointment of Karen Nunez-Tesheira as our Minister of Finance by then PM, the late Patrick Manning. For whatever reason, the consternation over the appointment of Christian Mouttet to investigate the #ferrygate imbroglio is reminding me of the confusion many people felt when PM Manning made that appointment. An eerie echo from the past, in this, The Season of Reflection.

This article appears the day before the anniversary of T&T’s 55th Independence Day. This week I examine the recent claims by the CLF group and its supporters as to its Black origin and so on. Those claims can be summarised as:

Read full text of Afra Raymond’s article

27 thoughts on “CL Financial Bailout – the Caribbean Connection

  1. CL Directors are only pulling out the Black card when it suits their dishonest purposes, they are directly responsible for Duprey milking the company to invest in his Miami pipe dream and allowing all the other executives across the Caribbean to steal millions from the company and it’s sunsidaries……

    Duprey, the directors of CL and CEOs of CLICO et al should be ashamed….a black man created such a huge company from nothing over 70 years ago and they all allowed their greed, arrogance and addiction to material things to run it into the ground with thefts….they should all go to prison.

    The history of how CL started is fascinating. ..

    ‘CLF is a black-owned and controlled conglomerate which has fallen into some difficulty and had to seek a bailout…it would be a tragedy to have such a company destroyed by liquidation or otherwise by the sitting black government’

    This is emerging as a key element in the Duprey campaign, so it has to be seriously scrutinised by looking at the origins of CLF, the current stance of its shareholders and the pan-Caribbean aspects of this issue.

    Subject of a biography, CLICO founder Cyril Duprey
    colonial bank

    The Colonial Bank
    In 1936, CLICO was founded as an indigenous financial institution by persons of African descent. That much is clear from the records, but I also delve into the motivations and values which must have driven Mr Cyril Duprey’s pioneering efforts. At that time of great social turmoil amidst the 1937 Labour uprising, the local finance sector was dominated by foreign companies – the original being The Colonial Bank (founded in 1837) which became Barclays Bank – of course that is now the CLF-controlled Republic Bank. The Canadian banks now known as Royal and Scotia Banks opened here in the early 1900s.

    penny bank
    The Penny Bank
    Locally, the other pioneers were Trinidad Building & Loan Association, founded in 1891, and the Trinidad Co-Operative Bank (The Penny Bank) founded in 1914. Both those institutions were founded by persons of African descent, with only the former surviving and thriving to this day. According to the Caribbean History Archives, Cyril Duprey was President of both TBLA and The Penny Bank in the early 1960s, at the same time as he was leader of CLICO. That triple achievement contrasts with contemporary concerns over the destructive nature of CLF’s ‘excessive related-party transactions’.

    In the 1930s, the nascent insurance sector was ruled by Canadian companies, Sun Life and Standard Life. It was into that gayelle that Cyril Duprey and his cohort descended, so it is important to reflect on the name chosen for the new insurance company ‘Colonial Life‘. From what I understand, at that time, the word ‘Colonial’ was used to denote African or Indian subjects within the British colonial order. To have chosen that name, to my mind, was tantamount to founding a finance company today with the name ‘Nubian’. Such was the measure of those bravé danjé pioneers, led by the 38-year old Mr Cyril.

    Hear one of the early salesmen, George Kangalee:

    “…People thought we were joking when we started to sell insurance. They slammed their windows in our faces. A negro man coming to sell insurance! At that time, only the big people and the big companies sold insurance…”
    Hear are the prescient words of Cyril Duprey:

    “…While I agree that the creole people do not like creole business, there is one thing you fail to realize. If you give a man value, if you give a man service, irrespective of his background, he is going to support you. And I intend to give both…”
    In 1961, the then Premier, Dr Eric Williams, gave the feature address at CLICO’s Silver Jubilee Convention at Queen’s Hall, these remarks are seminal –

    “…When the decision was taken to form the company in 1936, it could only be that the founding fathers had a vision of the future, not only in Trinidad, but of the unborn Federation of the West Indies…”

    Well yes. This leads us directly to the CARICOM issues.”

  2. I have been on about flawed financial regulation in Barbados in relation to insurance companies and banks. Now Sagicor has proven my point.
    Sagicor has just launched a so-called Endowment Plan 11 which offers a guaranteed 175 per cent sum assured, including life insurance, over periods of 10, 15, 20 and 25 years.
    First, it is my understanding that a life insurance policy is a contract for the duration of the insured’s life, in other words, the benefits go to the dead person’s estate. Life cover for set periods – 10, 15, 20 and 25 years – are term assurance, which reduces until reaching the date of maturation.
    The regulatory risk in this plan is that, for example, aged 50, an investor took out one of these plans, for say 25 years, at maturation s/he may want to take out another life policy. A life policy at age 75 would be prohibitive, when compared with one at age 50, or even more at age 21. That should not have been allowed by the regulators. The trouble is that this would only become a problem in 25 years’ time.
    Second, another regulatory failure, is that it is an endowment plan. In all other developed jurisdictions an endowment is an investment plan in which the premium is invested mainly in equities.
    But Sagicor is only guaranteeing a 175 per cent return on the original premium over a period of 10-25 years. In simple financial mathematics, the time value of money would suggest to my mind that a 75 per cent return on an investment over 25 years is theft. Why has the regulator allowed this plan to be marketed?
    Calling the return a lump sum and bonus is marketing trickery. The lump sum is the original premium and the bonus is the interest over the period. Inflation alone would guarantee the 75 per cent growth.
    Where are our investment actuaries, our fund managers, our investment analysts, our financial journalists?


    This greedy, shady pig with the pretentious false title will never mention or admit that deceitful business minorities like him who came by these properties in questionable manners, maliciously and deliberately priced real estate out of the reach of the average bajan, the majority population.

    Because of that greed, one day coming soon, him and his ilk will see none of these overpriced properties selling anywhere, to anyone, the governments should have regulated this greed decades ago, now it’s out if control.

    “One of Barbados’ leading luxury estate agents is making no apologies for the cost of owning a home here.

    Choosing to focus on overseas clients, Managing Director of Altman Real Estate Sir Paul Altman admitted that Barbados is indeed an expensive place to purchase homes.”

  4. Is anyone going to quiz Sagicor about this scandal? How about the Mutual? Are we going to stop targeting innocent people and focus on the system that is flawed? As I have said before, an inquiry in to the sale of the Mutual does not mean looking to prosecute anyone. It means trying to learn lessons.

  5. WWCOB
    I have not read the story of Cyril Duprey and the history of Clico.Its interesting to know its native origin because I recall the Manager here in the late 50’s was one big white Trinidadian fellow named Geoffrey Martin

  6. Guardian, another Trinidadian-owned insurance company, is tightening its belt. Is there a crisis in the insurance sector in Barbados? What are the regulator and supervisor doing about this? In times of crisis the first household payment to do is protection.

  7. Gabriel…ya would find a white dude as manager in the 50s, though whites are still a minority in TT…there would have still been a plantation mentality back then, that has now neen eradicated.

    Barbados is one of the few islands which continue practice and suffer the plantation mentality where minorities are still at the helm of these tiny companies…and must be eradicated.

  8. Hal…ya trying really hard to prove yaself wrong, restructuring and belt tightening is not a crime..,all companies do it and no regulator or supervisor is necessary…….

    …… is within any companies rights, guidelines and policies to downsize their employees to save money…even shady insurance companies like CLICO..

    However…..thiefing Leroy Parris and David Thompson committed crimes when they colluded and stole CLICO policyholder’s money…..big, big difference.

  9. Leroy Parris should be in prison but is still being pritected by Fruendel and other government ministers…and David Thompson played a nasty treacherous game. This government shoukd never be reelected again and Leacick is no longer around to interfere with and violate due process.

    “AUGUST, 2009. There was a court order in place which prohibited the company’s subsidiary CLICO International Life Insurance (CIL) from selling new business. This court order, however, was not a deterrent as CLICO continued to sell 800 policies after the supervisor of insurance told CLICO not to sell any more policies.

    Prior to his retirement, Parris had publicly announced that CIL had sold the 800-odd policies despite the warning from the Supervisor of Insurance. The committee, which was established under the leadership of late Prime Minister David Thompson, also complained about the lack of cooperation it had experienced during the period mandated to conduct its investigation. Moreover, the revelation that the head of the Fair Trading Commission (FSC) is the nephew of deceased late Prime Minister, David Thompson, should explain the reason for delays and make those calling for greater transparency in government raise the level of advocacy.

    JUNE, 2010. The then Deputy Supervisor of Insurance, Vernese Brathwaite, filed a complaint urging the police to probe the sale of 800-odd life policies by CIL despite a prohibition order from her department. A government-appointed Oversight Committee, headed by former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance William Layne, had publicly criticized the actions of CIL and called on the Supervisor of Insurance to seek legal redress while raising alarm that the insurance company’s behaviour was in violation of the supervisor’s order.

    FEBRUARY, 2012. Criminal charges were filed in the magistrates’ court against former executive chairman of CLICO Holdings (Barbados) Limited, Leroy Parris, and current president Terrence Thornhill. They were accused of contravening an order by the Supervisor of Insurance in August, 2009, which prohibited the company’s subsidiary CLICO International Life Insurance (CIL) from selling new business. The two were charged under Section 185 of the Insurance Act, Cap 130, which states that anyone found guilty is liable to a fine of $1, 000 or a year’s imprisonment and where the offence is a continuing offence, by a further fine of $250 for every day which the offence continues. This development in the ongoing CLICO saga coincided with the release in February, 2012, of the results of a forensic audit into the operations of CIL.

    It also followed several months of police investigation that led the then Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin to refer the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock. Charles Leacock, as many believe, is known to take bribes in an effort to contravene legal proceedings within the judicial process. However, the file was returned to the police, triggering the process by which charges were laid.”

  10. The Moral of this story is that Cyril Duprey is turning in his grave. To think he started Colonial Life Insurance to help the poor and disadvantage.

  11. Sometimes ignorance can be a burden. Just read the narrative of the Clico/Parris case and see where the fault lies. The problem in in the criminal justice system: precisely the Registrar’s department, and in particular the Listings Officer. Why are these cases not before the courts? That is the question.
    It is a criminal offence to abuse public office; it is a criminal offence to obstruct justice; it is a criminal offence to attempt to influence the impartiality of the criminal justice system.
    Until a fair trial in a open and impartial court of law, and accused is innocent until proven guilty. That is called the rule of law.
    If third parties, such as t he so-called Judicial Management Review, a bogus attempt at justice, has evidence then its duty is to pass that information on to the investigation/prosecuting authorities.

  12. the DPP should never initially had sent the case to the magistrates court, it did not involve the amount of less than 5,000 dollars and it ended up in the supreme court anyway, where it should have started, where the charges could have been more serious and indictable…

    the DPP interfered at the request of Fruendel and other corrupt ministers to protect the thief Parris…

    but Hal is too dumb to see that, even after all this time.

  13. So as not to mislead the forum, the magistrate court is the committal court. The Supreme Court is not a court of first instance.

  14. how the hell a journalist dont know that serious, indictable charges can only occur and originate from the DPPs office and passed on to police, the registrar`s office can only process what was sent to them they cannot refuse the DPPs recommendation and replace it with their own.

    800 illegally sold insurance policies defying the supervisor of insurance and worth millions in fraud and theft….using supreme court felony guidelines and Parris should have been remanded, both him and Thornhill….but the DPP interfered….he sited the lowest possible charges, ignoring the level of criminality involved for his own personal gain and ambitions….that is why government could not rid the island of his destructive practices.

  15. Hal….ya like a damn minor….in cases in amounts of 5,000 dont know if it was raised to 10,000 or more involved, the matter should go directly to the supreme court….any amount above is indictable….we can be here all day, ya will still be wrong.

    magistrate`s courts are small claims courts because nothing else existed.

    this case involves millions of dollars in fraud, theft and could have started with higher instead of lesser charges, which should and still can be upgraded for Parris and his co-thief.

  16. but the DPP interfered….he CITED the lowest possible charges, ignoring the level of criminality involved for his own personal gain and ambitions….that is why government could not rid the island of his destructive practices.


    summon (someone) to appear in a court of law.
    “the summons cited four of the defendants”
    synonyms: summon, summons, serve with a summ

  17. Hal….over does it when he is wrong, the office of the DPP in its present corrupt state has way too much discretion and power to overlook crimes of such a vicious magnitude as Parris crimes.

    a Canadian couple who was victimized by the late DPPs decision not to charge another couple for theft and money laundering now sees the DPPs office being sued because he did not that one of the aggrived not only knows their rights, but is also a lawyer and not about to accept his and Barbados` corrupt, bribetaking shit.

  18. That good for nothing DPP elcock arranged for two big time swindlers and ganja dealing thugs of Guyanese origin name Singh,sons of the PPP sycophant Rickie de coolie bai Singh,who has sung for his supper from since 1992 to big up the corrupt,thieving Indian cabal of Guyana headed by bar rat jaggeo,considered to be a bigger thief than ali baba and lowedown combined,the very same corrupt elcock appeared in the lower court of Barbados as prosecutor to prosecute the case involving the 2 singers and recommended to the presiding magistrate that a fine of $150,000.00 each would be a fit punishment for these two upstanding citizens for possession of 2 million dollars worth of ganja.Elcock has met karma,which Miller confirms is a bitch and all the money elcock,being a guyana culturated dizzonest fellow and friend of the none other than Froon the primus inter paris man,by a nod and and a wink,elcock allowed the 2 Singh boys to walk free after Rickie got bar rat to intervene in a law court in barbados.If only barrhh aka de dipper did alive nothing so would take place in barbados.Why after all if bit taker is a commissioner and bit taker who while he wore the wool of a super was a fencer of olympic proportions,and who did horn a convicted murderer ,why if he is a commissioner,barbados gone to hell in a snowcone cart.

  19. Lol…..Gabriel…ya aint seen nothing yet, everyone will be looking for holes now that they apparently found the body of the UK dude and some are saying there is so much drug and other dealings involved from Barbados/UK/ASIA and back, both locally and internationally and somebody GOTTA and will talk..


    Time longer than twine
    The longest day has an end
    Days runs but night catches it

    All the above now applies…lol

    Sorry Hal with all his big talk isnt involved too.

  20. Hal you are an asshole of the worst kind. Justice Chandler is one of the most thorough judges in Barbados and there is no way he would have frozen Parris’ assets if he was not convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that scunt Parris had committed a crime as evidenced by the childishly created and obviously fake invoice created to enable him to get his hands on $3.3m cash out of CLICO before it was too late. All that bullshit about a bonus due, is clearly a joke, as that is what the invoice would have said had it been the case, and it would not have been issued by Thompson and Associates. Thank goodness for those in the justice system who cannot be influenced.

    Of course the queen of Ilaro Court made sure things never went any further and it is clear that one of the reasons for the delay in the hearing of the appeal is that turning it down would risk further exposing the cesspool that Parris inhabits, and that is to be avoided at all costs.

    You may live in a dream world and have your tongue firmly placed where others would not stick a ten foot pole, but the real facts as opposed to the utterly fictitious shite masquerading as so called ‘facts’ being circulated by the deluded bunch you idolise, are the preferred reality for intelligent people.

  21. Mitchlans,
    You are quite obviously a legal scholar. It is my humble submission that a judge in a case of a disputed amount of money would freeze the money until the dispute is resolved.
    And, certainly in reaching his decision, would have referred to the alleged offence. Under our system of the rule of law, an accused is innocent until proven guilty in a legally constituted court of law.
    I know the aggressive, abusive and quite often violent culture of Barbados sits uncomfortably with this civilised fact.
    In the meantime, insurance companies seem to be operating uncontrollably: there is a claim that CGI sold and lease back its Warrens building. Is that so? If so, why would a solvent insurance company, with adequate liquidity, ell a prime site (effectively its HQ) and lease it back?
    Why is Guardian restructuring? The problem is it takes a bit more than cheap abuse to tackle these issues than naked barbaric aggression.

  22. When one is able to skillfully use powers of deduction, answers become easy.

    If thiefing Leroy Parris had gotten arrested and given the correct indictable charges initially by the shady DPP, instead of a summons, which is a bench warrant to appear before a magistrate, it would not have taken years for the stolen money to be frozen or to attach Thompson’s estate to the complaint at the supreme court and freeze those millions of dollars in assets as well and Thompson’s estate would still be attached to the complaint…..the powers of deductive reasoning.

    There could be any reason CGI was forced to rent the building it sold, the chief one being that their mortgage is held by the bank they were forced to sell the building to….CGI is more of a ponzi scheme than a real insurance company…again, both governments and their greedy ministers have to be blamed for it’s very existence, along with its owners, directors and the likes of former CJ David Simmons who enabled it to prosper for so long.

    Companies restructure all the time, 15 employees is not much of a restructuring, it’s just trimming fat…eliminating jobs and doubling up tasks……50 employees is restructuring.

    Recently most of the insurance companies have done this.

  23. well well,
    I kept telling you from way back in 2012-13 thet the FPA and the EFPA, were NOT life policies. Thus the instruction not to sell insurance policies were without effect. The annuity policies sold were just gambles money managers and gamblers were taking with the monies under their control. They lost out and thus cannot bring individual lawsuit.

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