Finance Minister Karen Tesheira has called for more patience from the public as the Central Bank works on the bailout package and provide funding for payments to policyholders and depositors of CL Financial and Clico.
"Since this crisis began, we have been saying that part of the solution will have to be a period of adjustment for many of us and we have been encouraging depositors to be patient as many of the issues relating to the crisis were very complex. "And, we are doing our part to unravel it, to determine the kind of support needed as well as to determine the value of many of the assets held by the company. This is the only way we could recover funds for investors. "The CL Financial Group had sound assets that were valued at more than $100 billion. That is more than 30 per cent of the country's gross domestic product, so it will take a while for us to go through the books and have the information to determine the way forward," Tesheira said. She was speaking at yesterday's post-Cabinet press briefing at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann's, Tesheira said Government stepped in to provide support for the cash-strapped insurer because of the systemic risk the company posed to the financial system due to the large size and interdependence of the CL Financial Group to local and regional economies.
She said Government was working with the Central Bank, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the regional rating agency, Caribbean Information and Credit Rating Services Ltd (CARICRIS), to develop regulations that will give the Central Bank and other regulators further oversight over the financial services sectors, restore confidence in the system and protect the interest of less savvy investors. High Court Judge, Carlton Best, has sent a preaction protocol letter to Clico's executives declaring his intention to take legal action to recover funds after his insurance policy matured. Through his attorney Anand Ramlogan, Justice Best wrote to Clico on March 1, giving the company 14 days to pay. He is expected to retire from the bench in October when he reaches the age of 65. Carolyn John, Clico's finance director, at a press conference held at the Central Bank on Wednesday, said the company has received other preaction protocol letters advising of customers' intention to file lawsuits to recover money they had invested in Clico.
She said Justice Best's policy matured a few weeks ago and "we will treat with him in the same way we treat with all others. "There are other customers who have been waiting for longer periods after their policies matured," said John, adding that Clico executives met with these clients and resolve their issues concerning their policies. "We have been asking for a bit more patience as we raise funds to settle the debts."