CLICO Bailout NOT Forgotten

Posted to Afra Raymond’s website

On Friday 30th January 2009, the CL Financial (CLF) bailout started, so today – 30th January 2019 – is the ten-year anniversary of that fateful decision to commit Public Money to bailout the Caribbean’s largest conglomerate. The companies which were to be bailed-out were: CL Financial Ltd (CLF); Colonial Life Insurance Company Ltd (CLICO); Caribbean Money Market Brokers Ltd (CMMB); Clico Investment Bank (CIB) and British American Insurance Company (Trinidad) Ltd (BAICO).

The mismanagement of this bailout has exceeded any mismanagement which led to the collapse of CLF, that is my view.

Follow full text on Afra Raymond’s website.

CL Financial Bailout – filling the gaps, Part II

clf-bailout2This article provides more details of the games being played in this Information War. It seems that the concealment of the details of the CL Financial bailout is of high importance.

First item is this acknowledgment from the PS in the Ministry of Finance which would be funny, if this entire matter were not so very serious – Read full article at

CL Financial Bailout – filling the gaps

Afra Raymond, Citizen Advocate

Citizen Advocate Afra Raymond continues his relentless pursuit for transparency in the CL Financial debacle which unfolded in 2007/2008 and shocked the volatile economies across the Caribbean.

The blogmaster uses the opportunity to remind the newly elected government of Barbados that there was a hint of a promise to pursue principals involved in the local subsidiary governed under the legal entity CLICO Holdings Limited (CHL). We have not forgotten the catastrophic regulatory failure, poor governance and management incompetence that led to untold suffering for some Barbadians and unwanted stress on the pockets of taxpayers.

David, blogmaster

This article sets out my ongoing search for all the details of all the payments made under the CL Financial bailout. That includes my recently-concluded litigation and my new requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Consent Order of 24th January 2018 required the Ministry of Finance to provide these details –

  1. Any unaudited financial statements of CL Financial Limited for the years 2008-2011 in the possession of the Ministry of Finance which were relied upon to prepare the affidavits of Minister Winston Dookeran filed on 3 April, 2012 in High Court proceedings CV 2011-01234, Percy Farrell and Others v Clico and others.
  2. Any list of the creditors of CL Financial existing at the date of the request in the possession of the Ministry of Finance, the names of the EFPA holders of Clico, the dates of the repayment of EFPA holders of Clico and the identities of those whose investments have been repaid.

Read full ArticleCL Financial Bailout – filing the gaps

CL Financial Bailout – how the Integrity Commission Failed to carry out its duty

There is the saying that there is nothing new under the sun. One aspect of the CL Financial (CLICO) saga Barbadians can learn from is to critique how the Integrity Commission has performed its role given the clamour to impose transparency legislation in Barbados. Citizen Advocate Afra Raymond shares the view that the Integrity Commission failed to discharge its duties in the CL Financial affair.

– David, blogmaster

Yet another worrying aspect of the CL Financial (CLF) bailout fiasco is the role of the Integrity Commission (IC) in these turbid dealings. I am referring to the apparent failure or refusal of The Commission to carry out its duties in relation to CLF as required by the Integrity in Public Life Act (IPLA).

I first raised the prospect that CLF might well be under the IC’s oversight on 28th May 2009, in an article entitled – Judgment Time – Moral Hazard part 3. I have been pursuing that concern steadily since September 2012 and yet the position of the IC is no clearer. On 9th September 2015, I again put the question – Is the integrity Commission being willfully blind towards CL Financial? Indeed, in my March 28th 2018 interview with the Trinidad Express, I stated, in relation to the governance aspects unearthed by my campaign – Read full text on Afra Raymond’ s Website.

Afra Raymond Gets CLICO Data – A Case of FOI Working?

The incumbent Barbados DLP government promised to introduce Freedom of Information ( FOI) in 2008, it is 2018 and clearly this will be an undeliverable ten years later.

The CLICO debacle which has affected several Caribbean countries continues to reverberate. The catastrophic event has changed (should) how pan-Caribbean companies are managed. Are we satisfied that learnings gleaned in the post-CLICO collapse are being documented and changes made to processes and regulations to mitigate against a recurrence?

David, Blogmaster

LAST week, nearly six years after he first requested the data under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Ministry of Finance sent Afra Raymond a compact disc with information on all individuals and institutions who received payments from the State for their investments in CLICO, the insurance company that collapsed in January 2009. The matter went to the Court of Appeal before the parties agreed on an out-of-court settlement with the ministry agreeing to most of Raymond’s demands.

For Raymond, an Express Business columnist, property expert and transparency campaigner, it has been a long but ultimately rewarding road, which began with the May 8, 2012 filing with the ministry. As to cost, he will receive 70 per cent of the cost of the litigation in the High Court.

He answers questions on the issue below:

Read full text HERE

CL Financial Bailout – the Eleventh Commandment

Some of us continue to follow the unraveling of the CL Financial matter in Trinidad and related transactions in the other islands concerning CLICO- the conclusion is the same, what a mess! Trinidad has freedom of information and integrity legislation yet citizen advocate Afra Raymond is being frustrated to access information.

David – Barbados Underground

by AfraRaymond

‘…When we were growing-up, the Ten Commandments were drummed into us, in an effort to impart certain values…the way things are in T&T these days, it looks like we all have to live with the Eleventh Commandment…Thou shalt not be found out!…’ Today is eight weeks after the Appeal Court made its Consent Order on […]

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CL Financial Bailout | Still No Freedom of Information Act Promised TEN Years Ago | Amendment to the Police Act is Coming Though!

Afra Raymond

The news that the Barbados government has reordered the CLICO business by establishing a new company with a general election a few weeks away makes the following Afra Raymond blogs timely. The challenge for Barbadians is we do not have the same leverage as Afra Raymond in Trinidad to go to Court to exact transparency in the CLICO matter because the government has NOT enacted/proclaimed the FREDOOM OF INFORMATION ACT  – see BU blog Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the one that got away promised 10 years ago!

CL Financial bailout – the consent order

On Wednesday 24th January 2018 we settled the Consent Order in the Appeal Court, in this long-running legal battle between the Ministry of Finance & The Economy and I. That Consent Order will allow the public much better insight into the CL Financial bailout. The Ministry of Finance & The Economy has now agreed to provide two of the three items I requested in 2012 under the Freedom of Information Act –

  1. Any unaudited financial statements of CL Financial Limited for the years 2008-2011 in the possession of the Ministry of Finance which were relied upon to prepare the affidavits of Minister Winston Dookeran filed on 3 April, 2012 in High Court proceedings CV 2011-01234, Percy Farrell and Others v Clico and others.
  2. Any list of the creditors of CL Financial existing at the date of the request in the possession of the Ministry of Finance, the names of the EFPA holders of Clico, the dates of the repayment of EFPA holders of Clico and the identities of those whose investments have been repaid. […]

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CL Financial bailout – the consent order, part two

by AfraRaymond

The previous article gave the essential details of the fight for and contents of the Consent Order between the Ministry of Finance & The Economy and I. It has now been nine days since that Consent Order, yet despite the best efforts of my team we are no closer to understanding this delay. We do not know what reply the Ministry gave its attorneys, who is working on compiling these details, or indeed, if anyone is working on it. Therefore one has to wonder, in relation to the requested details ‘What did they know?‘ and ‘When did they know it?

This article will examine these delays.

The Colman Commission was appointed to examine the causes of the failure of CL Financial (CLF) and four of its subsidiaries – […]

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CL Financial Bailout – The Caribbean Connection Part Two

Afra Raymond, Citizen Advocate

The previous article set out my criticism of the CLF bailout situation in respect of the CARICOM claims and our nation’s treaty obligation to exercise non-discrimination in its policies. In that light I am sceptical of the position now being advanced by the CLF shareholders to highlight that group as being a black-controlled conglomerate. My scepticism was rooted in the apparent refusal or failure of either the CLF shareholders or the T&T State to accept responsibility to meet CARICOM claims arising from the 2009 collapse of CLF.

I am stating here what seem to be the four indispensable elements of an equitable settlement to this CLF bailout.

  1. Settlement of non-T&T claims arising from the collapse of CLF
    I have been reliably informed that the Policyholders in one OECS Member State have sent Pre-Action Protocol letters to the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in pursuance of their CLF claim. This course of action followed after this OECS Member Government twice wrote to the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago without having the benefit of a response. Clearly wholly unsatisfactory in terms of international diplomacy, particularly in the context of Trinidad and Tobago as a leading CARICOM State, More Developed Country (MDC) and the other CARICOM State, as a Less Developed Country (LDC) in the context of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC). Should matters attendant to the question of fair and equitable treatment between CARICOM Members proceed to litigation they will be expected to be heard by the CCJ which is the Court of Record for disputes arising within the ambit of the Revised Treat of Chaguaramas. If this were to proceed to the CCJ, it would be yet another layer of litigation to be resolved at public expense before the issue can be settled. Consider also that other CARICOM members have not yet litigated so there is a clear and present danger that those states whose citizens’ claims have not been satisfied could join into the entire lawsuit.

Read Full Afra Raymond Article

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

CL Financial Bailout – Charting the Ruins

Posted by Afra Raymond

The voices of our leading Artists urge us to search for meaning, if we are serious about building a civilisation out of the lies and ruin we inhabit. That kind of serious building requires a solid foundation which must contain sober reflection and acceptance of responsibility by both the people and the leaders. This is the Season of Reflection, so this week I am looking backward to go forward. A Sankofa pause to delve into these sobering CL Financial events to try to derive some meaning. We have now passed Emancipation, so the series is moving onward to Independence.

Read full article

CL Financial Bailout – The Tangled Web

Former Executive Chairman of CL Financial, parent company of CLICO

by AfraRaymond

“…The official also pointed out that no interest was ever charged on the amount of money that was loaned to the CLF group…” —Quote from an anonymous ‘Government official’ in this newspaper on 21 July 2017. Well yes. A bold-faced snatch-and-grab is now being attempted and our total vigilance is now required. According to the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protestors I saw at Zuccotti Park in 2012 – […]

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CL Financial Bailout – Nitty Gritty

CL Financial bailout – Nitty Gritty

by AfraRaymond

The CL Financial bailout fiasco is headed towards an epic legal mangle as Lawrence Duprey and his cohort aim to regain control of the Caribbean’s largest-ever commercial/financial group. In swift response, the Minister of Finance is making legal moves to put CLF into liquidation. At the root of this dispute is the actual sum […]



CL Financial Bailout – False Equivalence?

In today’s world of ‘Alternative Facts’ we have to be alert to the special dangers posed by ‘False Equivalence’. False Equivalence arises when two arguments are presented as being of equal relevance, but in fact one is solidly fact-based and the other is mere speculation or invention. Those dangers are especially present in matters of public importance, as recent events have shown.

Tony Rakhal-Fraser’s Sunday Guardian column on 25 June 2017, titled Appointing ‘Fit and Proper’ People, made me wince, despite his usual high standard of writing. My reaction arose from what appeared to be an attempt by the Central Bank Governor to promote a new discussion on the fit and proper rules.

Read full text on Afra Raymond’s website – CL Financial bailout – False Equivalence?

CL Financial Bailout – Fit and Proper Action

Is it conceivable as opined by Afra Raymond that Lawrence Duprey will be able to regain control of the once all powerful CL Financial?Barbados Underground

That opening stanza is my tweet of a witty friend’s remark at Ferdie Ferreira’s booklaunch and 85th Birthday celebrations on Wednesday 14 June 2017. It was not surprising to see Lawrence Duprey and Carlos John sitting together at that event. We may be seeing Duprey more and more, the way this fiasco is unfolding. There were some media reports that John was suing Duprey for some money owed, but the case now appears to have been resolved by agreement. I took little note of that case, except for one aspect, explained in the sidebar.

By now, we know that Duprey intends to regain control of the CL Financial empire which was bailed-out by the State after its failure in January 2009. There have been reports about Duprey’s legal demands that the State remove its Directors from the CL Financial board, with the State having asked for more time to respond. That contest for control of CLF is not the topic of this article, I am concerned here with the apparent failure and/or refusal of the Central Bank to apply its fit and proper regulations to the CL Financial chiefs.

Full text – CL Financial Bailout

CL Financial Bailout

Recent events have forced a further re-examination of the proposition that Lawrence Duprey and his chiefs could regain control of the CL Financial group. The Public Interest has been betrayed or badly delayed at every stage of this matter, which is the only reason we are forced to have this painful conversation.

In the BG of 27th April 2017, both Anthony Wilson and Mary King took aim at my assertion that Lawrence Duprey and his chiefs should not be allowed to regain control of the CL Financial group. Last week I responded to them, but subsequent statements from the CLF chiefs show that regaining control of the entire group is the target. Those events include the abortive meeting between Lawrence Duprey and the CLICO Policyholders’ Group, led by Peter Permell; the several press statements from Duprey and his spokesmen, Carlton Reis and Claudius Dacon and the Mid-Year Budget Review from Finance Minister, Colm Imbert.

Read full article – CL Financial bailout – Marooning the Pirates

CL Financial Bailout – Fear of the Facts

“…Whilst in the last five-year administration, the management of Clico, CLF and the associated companies were shrouded in secrecy by the UNC administration, this PNM Government has no intention of operating in that manner. This Government will operate in an open, transparent and accountable manner as it has been doing…“ (The emphases are mine) —Extract […]

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Open Letter to Central Bank Governor on CL Financial Bailout

Dr. Alvin Hilaire was appointed Governor and Chairman of the Board of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT

Dr. Alvin Hilaire was appointed Governor and Chairman of the Board of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT

We, the undersigned, have become very concerned about the direction of the “rescue” of CLICO et al after over eight years under the control of the Central Bank and the government. Our principal concern is at the apparent regulatory forbearance being exhibited by the Central Bank in this matter. Our further concerns relate to the legality of the ongoing control and any untoward consequences arising from that; the inordinate delay in the return of billions of dollars to the taxpayer and the impact that must be having on economic decision making; and finally, the nature of some recent ministerial statements which appear to be at odds with the stated goals of the rescue as articulated in the Central Bank Act.

Read the FULL letter.

Minister of Finance and the Economy vs. Afra Raymond – Keith Rowley Protecting Persad-Bissessar and CL Financial Group

Afra Raymond Citizen Advocate

Afra Raymond Citizen Advocate

BU’s read of the following is simple, the political class is the same everywhere, they are wont to protect their own. What is interesting in this case is that transparency laws are on the statute books in Trinidad and Tobago. Why would the recently installed Rowley PNM government not want to be transparent about how public funds used to bailout CL Financial are accounted for?  The following is a note shared by the Indefatigable public advocate Afra Raymond.  We continue to wish him well.

The Ministry of Finance & the Economy has today formally advised the Appeal Court of its intention to proceed with their appeal against the High Court ruling of 22nd July 2015 which ordered publication of the requested details of the CL Financial bailout –

  1. the audited accounts of the CL Financial group;
  2. the formal presentation to the Independent Senators in September 2011 on the bailout and;
  3. the details of the payees – i.e. the names of those who received payments.

This is an unprecedented and huge expenditure of Public Money exceeding $20 Billion, yet it seems that we remain bound by the detrimental ‘Code of Silence‘ in our country.  Having had the Ten Commandments drummed into us as youths, it now appears that the Eleventh Commandment is to be part of our adult learning – ‘Thou shalt not be found out‘.

This matter will be expedited and I will continue my efforts to obtain all the details of all the payments in this huge expenditure of Public Money.

CL Financial Was Too Big to Fail or is it Too Many Bigshots to Jail

Trinidad based Afra Raymond continues to be the strident voice in the region asking for transparency concerning the bailout of CL Financial the parent of CLICO Holdings Limited and several other subsidiaries. Listen to Afra Raymond being interviewed by Rennie Bishop on 107.7FM on Sunday 12, June 2016 after the intervention of Lawrence Duprey, and the Auditor General’s 2015 report.

CL Financial Bailout – Duprey’s Story: SIFI vs PIFI

On Sunday 22nd May 2016, the front-page story in this newspaper was headlined ‘We will pay it back‘. That article featured very interesting quotes from former CL Financial Executive Chairman, Lawrence Duprey as well as the Minister of Finance & the Economy, Colm Imbert, on the prospects for repayment of the huge sums of Public Money spent on this CL Financial bailout.

Duprey claimed to have made a formal proposal to the State to repay taxpayers and all stakeholders who are owed money, while insisting that the amount owed was yet to be determined. The failure or refusal of the State to publish any audited statements in relation to this CL Financial bailout appears to be impeding the discussions as to a settlement of this massive debt. The sidebar contains a summary of how the Public Money spent on this bailout has grown from the initial 2009 estimates of $5 Billion to a 2016 figure now said to exceed $24 Billion.

Source: CL Financial bailout – Duprey’s Story: SIFI vs PIFI

CL Financial Bailout – Studied Disdain

howai-cartelAs the Season of Reflection and the impending election flow together, there is a bitter brew now being offered in relation to the CL Financial bailout. Disdain is an attitude which denotes someone or something as being unworthy of proper consideration. I think that in relation […] Continue reading

CL Financial Bailout – The Real Case

The following reblogged from Afra Raymond’s blog.
Sen. Larry Howai, Min of Finance & the Economy

Sen. Larry Howai, Min of Finance & the Economy

In 2013 I sued the Minister of Finance & the Economy for his continuing failure or refusal to provide the details relating to the huge $25 Billion bailout of the failed CL Financial group. On Wednesday 22 July 2015, […] Continue reading

CL Financial Bailout – Steal of a Deal

Submitted by Afra Raymond
Afra Raymond

Afra Raymond

The CL Financial bailout was a steal of a deal for the owners of that troubled company. After all, the wealthiest man in the Caribbean was able to obtain an interest-free loan exceeding $25 Billion in Public Money at a time when no one else would lend him. […] Continue reading

Integrity Reflections

The Code of Silence on the CL Financial bailout in Trinidad and Tobago emphasizes Caricom’s inability to efficiently regulate pan Caribbean companies. Also exposes corruption which is endemic in both the political class and private sector – Barbados Underground

Open Letter to Former Permanent Secretary William Layne: ‘CLICO Was a Time Bomb Waiting to Explode and Explode it Did’

Vernese Brathwaite

Vernese Brathwaite

The CL Financial/CLICO saga continues to occupy the news space in Barbados and regionally. Many have predicted it will take years to unravel if not resolve. And given the sloth of the Barbados Court system and the interlocking interests of politicians and prominent others there is good reason for those with material interest in the matter to batten down for the long haul.

One individual who has had a prominent role to play and a lot to say about the CLICO/Parris matter is William Layne. He is a retired permanent secretary in the ministry of finance  appointed to Chair the CLICO Oversight Committee established by the late prime minister David Thompson. Another little discussed role Layne held was Supervisor of Insurance.  Layne in a hard hitting CLICO exposition titled  RECENT FINANCIAL FAILURES IN THE CARIBBEAN – WHAT WERE THE CAUSES AND WHAT LESSONS CAN BE LEARNT? delivered a few interesting observations on what lessons we can learn about the demise of CLICO in Barbados.

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Whistleblower Policy Needed–Former CLICO Executives Speak Out

Embattled Leroy Parris flanked by Chis Sinckler, minister of finance and Hal Gollop QC, Parris' lawyer on the campaign trail in 2013

Embattled Leroy Parris flanked by Chis Sinckler, minister of finance and Hal Gollop QC, Parris’ lawyer on the campaign trail in 2013

The failure of CLICO and other failures in the Eastern Caribbean require regional governments to implement a whistleblower policy. It is evident regional regulators are more committed to managing within national boundaries therefore pan Caribbean companies will continue to be a challenge. BU believes a whistleblower program facilitated by Caricom can act as an ancillary mechanism to  support the function of moribund regional regulators. The lack of labour mobility in the Caribbean means individuals are not motivated to risk personal financial hardship and victimization in the name of doing what is ethical and moral.

The following comments were posted in another forum by individuals purporting to be Neval Greenidge and Larry Davis, both former CLICO  executives. There is always the case to question the motives of former employees in a situation like the one unravelling with CLICO. In light of what has transpired all actors who played a part should be clinically interrogated to accurately piece together the truth behind the demise of CLICO Barbados Holdings and subsidiary companies.

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Mariano Browne to Interview Afra Raymond on the CL Financial Bailout

Blogger extraordinaire Trinidadian Afra Raymond will be hosted on The 95 Mandate i95.5 FM radio talk show Friday 6 February 2015 at 10AM to discuss CL Financial bailout.

The 95 Mandate talk show is hosted by Mariano Browne a well known personage to Barbadians whose bio records he was CEO of Caribbean Commercial Bank, a CL Financial owned company and former PNM minister of finance. It is no secret Mariano Browne was fired by Lawrence Duprey as CEO of Caribbean Commercial Bank. As a former CL Financial insider he offers a unique insight into the workings of CL Financial, parent of CLICO.

The coming together of Raymond and Browne promises to be an informative occasion

What Lies Beneath

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.

CL Financial bailout – Really learning from the past

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.

Tales From the COURTS IX – The CLICO AFFAIR Involving the FSC and the BIPA

June Fowler, head of BIPA

June Fowler, head of BIPA   Photo credit: Caribbean360

BU is perplexed by the latest news in this mess, in which it is reported that the BIPA (Barbados Investors Policyholders Alliance) aka CLICO investors – represented by Mr Alair Shepherd QC – has refused to stay the action against the CLICO directors. It is noted that the FSC is represented in this matter by Mr Adrian King.

BU’s attention was initially grabbed (or as it transpires, misdirected and sidetracked) by the fact that Mr Shepherd and Mr King both practice out of Inn Chambers and BU asked for clarification that, although Mr Shepherd and Mr King both practice from the same chambers, they are NOT partners, but ARE, in fact, individual counsel who simply share facilities. As such, therefore, there is no impropriety, nor does BU even suggest such of the two counsel named.

That disclaimer and clarification having now been made, BU asks its family and legal eagles to weigh in as to whether BIPA has the standing to bring its action against the CLICO directors, or not. If not, as this whole CLICO mess is of massive importance to Bajans in general, on what basis BIPA has refused to stay its action? Is there any merit in pursing an action that will be stayed at the end of the day?

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VIDEO: Morning Edition 10 December 2012

There is a healthy interest by Barbadians in the CLICO Affair as in unfolds in the T&T parent market. A catastrophic failure of local and regional regulatory and political systems. Listen to searching interview by Fazeer Mohammed (known more in Barbados as a cricket commentator) and Afra Raymond, a vocal Trinidadian commentator leading the effort for transparency in the CLICO matter.

Lawrence Duprey Says, "I did Nothing Wrong"

Former Executive Chairman of CL Financial, parent company of CLICO

The following report extracted from the Trinidad Express summarizes a 50 page statement by former CL Financial chairman Lawrence Duprey which was submitted to the Commission of Inquiry.

Former CL Financial chairman files 50-page witness statement at Commission of Enquiry
By Ria Taitt Political Editor
Story Created: Oct 23, 2012 at 11:03 PM ECT
(Story Updated: Oct 23, 2012 at 11:03 PM ECT )

Former executive chairman of insurance giant CL Financial, Lawrence Duprey, has said that as far as he was concerned, he has done nothing wrong.

Although the failure of the financial conglomerate seriously threatened to destabilise the economy and to date the rescue mission has cost taxpayers $21 billion, Duprey in his witness statement to the Commission of Enquiry which was filed on Monday described himself as “a hardworking and dedicated citizen who worked hard to create wealth for all and was instrumental in the creation of thousands of jobs”.

Read full report

CLICO Weighed In The Balance


The proposed settlement by the judicial manager, Deloitte Consulting Ltd to resolve the problematic Clico International Life Insurance Ltd (CIL) matter has been met with a predictable disapproval by The Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA). The recommendation to settle is to float a bond whose proceeds would be used to acquire qualifying assets that would be transferred to the buyer of the insurer’s traditional business as well as fund the partial payment and restructuring of the EFPA portfolio.”  For the proposal to work the governments of Barbados and Trinidad are expected to back the bond which amounts to close to BBD400 million. Those affected countries in the Eastern Caribbean (Antigua, Anguilla, Montserrat, St Vincent, Grenada and Dominica) would have to commit to the deal “by committing their state agencies to invest directly in the bond issue.” Most of the islands in which CIL operates are highly indebted.” – see T&T Guardian Article.

BIPA in response has expressed the concern that any deal must “include(s) full reimbursement of the dozens of people whose policies have already matured”. According to them “of BIPA’s 385 members, 46 have policies that have reached maturity – 39 of them being Executive Flexible Premium Annuities (EFPAs) and the other seven in Flexible Premium Annuities (FPAs).” If BIPA maintains its position the CLICO matter is destined to be hogtied by bottomless complex and legal considerations. There is every likelihood that the only parties who will come out the winners in this matter will be the lawyers and the judicial manager.  A few months ago a report was posted to show that Deloitte’s fee had reached $7.2 million.

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Deloitte & Touche Issues Press Release About ‘Leaked’ Interim Forensic Report

Patrick Toppin (l) Oliver Jordan (r) CLICO Judicial Managers

The BU family will want to comment on the Deloitte & Touche Press Release issued yesterday (20/03/2012). BU understands the government’s reluctance to comment on an issue which remains fluid and under the direction of the court. On the flipside however there is a large population of CLICO policyholders and others on the periphery who are concerned about the current state of affairs. Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart must be aware of the political fallout which CLICO has the potential to generate. It will be interesting to observe the pace at which a legal settlement is found to the CLICO Mess which must sync with the political beat with a general election on the horizon.

See Deloitte’s Press Release which seeks to clarify the issue of the leaked Forensic Report.

The CLICO Mess – A Kick In The Backside Of Barbadians

Finance Minister, Christopher Sinckler with Board members of the Financial Services Commission. Others, from left, are: Felton Burton, Professor Frank Alleyne, Lawson Yearwood, Virginia Mapp, Sir Neville Nicholls and Jefferson Cumberbatch - Photo Credit: Advocate

The unravelling CLICO Mess has the potential to reshape how business is done in Barbados and possibly the Caribbean. For the transformation to occur the Fourth and Fifth Estates must play a lead role. The facts of the this case must be presented to the public in an unbiased manner.

The political class in Barbados is in cover-your-ass-mode but here is some of what we know about the CLICO Mess so far:

  • If the Late David Thompson was alive he would have to answer a few ‘hard’ questions, for example, why did Thompson & Associates generate an invoice for 3.3 million dollars which a forensic report suggests Leroy Parris was the beneficiary?
  • Both political parties have contributed to the weak regulatory framework which governed the insurance industry in the pre-CLICO British American collapse period


Recent Financial Failures In The Caribbean–What Were The Causes And What Lessons Can Be Learnt?

By William Layne, retired Permanent Secretary - Ministry of Finance (Barbados)

The 1980s witnessed the collapse of the investment firm DREXELL BURNHAM LAMBERT and the imprisonment of Michael Milken and Ivan Boeskey for insider trading. This was an era of leveraged buyouts financed by junk bonds, which demonstrated the greed and arrogance of wall-street personnel. The 1990s saw the dot com boom and bust. The stock market fell after 911 and then recovered before the decline occasioned by the 2008 financial meltdown. However, before the 2008 crisis we witnessed the collapse of MCIWORLDCOM and ENRON the imprisonment of Bernie Ebbers and some of the Enron executives for fraud. Ebbers is serving 25 years.

These international events were caused by a number of factors, such as, the greed and arrogance of wall-street actors; the greed and ignorance on the part of some investors and in some cases, an absence of effective regulation and the political belief in the virtues of the market to be self-regulating. ALAN GREENSPAN now admits that he made an error in assuming that the market would effectively regulate itself to prevent excesses.

The Caribbean over a similar period of time has witnessed financial crises. In Barbados the year 1986 saw the collapse of Trade Confirmers, a finance company offering interest rates on deposits that were in excess of what the other regulated entities were offering. The depositors lost their money. However, prior to that event, Barbadian depositors had lost money when two icons on the Barbadian business landscape the COTTON FACTORY and THE BARBADOS FOUNDRY collapsed. Here again there was no bailout of depositors. Trade Confirmers though a deposit taking institution was not regulated by the Central Bank and this brought about a change of legislation subsequent to the event to regulate these Finance Companies. However, there are still companies in Barbados accepting deposits from the public which are not licensed as banks or other deposit taking institutions. This has come to my knowledge recently.

Read full submission

All Eyes On Fruendel, Justice Must Be Done!

Submitted by Hamilton Hill

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart

As a boy at secondary school my love for the arts drew me in an astounding way to the Masterpiece called “A Psalm Of Life” written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Today from that Masterpiece I borrow the excerpt “Things are not always what they seem.” Is there any other way to digest the disgusting display of dishonesty, magnified by the simple fact that thousands of us in this person reposed our trust? This CLICO mess is shameful. It is scandalous. God knows that it is also felonious.

For too long the poor folk in our little country have taken it up the wazoo from persons who view their participation in politics as a path to riches. We as a people have always acceded to their ways for in times past, issues like this CLICO master con were raging fires on the political platform, the embers of which were quenched by the thrill of victory by one or the other.

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The CLICO Mess: Pinochet Case Vs Leroy Parris

Augusto Pinochet (l) Leroy Parris (r)

If we are to judge from the back and forth in recent days there is the suggestion that a window of opportunity supported by the Pinochet Case (I,II) favours Leroy Parris. Is the claim that Leroy Parris and company had full knowledge of Patrick Toppin’s role as Receiver for Plantations Holdings – a subsidiary of CL Financial – and failed to challenge when along with Oliver Jordan they were appointed Judicial Managers to unravel The CLICO Mess? Did the onus of such disclosure rest with Patrick Toppin as a professional bonded to uphold the ethics of the accounting profession?  Bear in mind lawyers for Toppin have subsequently confirmed he disclosed his role to the Supervisor of Insurance and Minister of Finance. It is unclear if similar disclosure was made to the Courts which have jurisdiction in the matter.

For the benefit of  BU family who have demonstrated a healthily interest in the legal component of the argument.  Here is the Pinochet Case dissected:

Pinochet time lines:

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Another CLICO Mess On The Horizon Maybe?

A.M. Best Headquarters

What is of even greater significance is how we will respond to the revelations from a policy perspective. What are the changes that will be made to ensure that the same thing does not happen again or that there is reduced risk of its recurrence? – Mariano Browne

The quote by former CEO of a CL Financial subsidiary and minister in a T&T government is insightful. Political junkies become mired in ‘CLICO personalities’ but  BU insists we should focus on the catastrophic failure of the regional regulatory framework to alert the market that something was amidst at CL Financial. Three years after the collapse of CLICO and there is still doubt that any serious regional regulatory framework has been established to prevent a recurrence. In every territory that CLICO operated in the Caribbean there was a predictable response by the regulatory body. What does it tell us?

It must be stated that Barbados has moved quickly to establish the Financial Services Commission (FSC) with the objective to strengthen the regulatory environment relating to insurance, credit unions and functions administered under the Securities Act. In the case of the insurance sector, the office of the Supervisor of Insurance (SOI) was woefully inadequate and it is God’s mercy we have not experienced more failures in the industry. In fact under the watch of the SOI CLICO Barbados accumulated a short  reserve position which started in the boom years under the Arthur administration.

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