Concerns About CLICO’s Restructuring Pace

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Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler making a point during today's Domestic Financial Institutions Conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. (A.Miller/BGIS)

Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler making a point during today’s Domestic Financial Institutions Conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. (A.Miller/BGIS)

Government is very concerned about the pace at which CLICO’s restructuring process is taking place.

Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler, expressed those concerns while delivering an address at the Domestic Financial Institutions Conference today at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Mr. Sinckler disclosed that in December some decisions were taken, which were contingent on the courts’ acceptance of the restructuring plan for CLICO.

“We have put certain things in place, including financial resources, which we have done with the assistance of our Central Bank and others. We have given full and complete support for that restructuring plan to proceed and I can say that six, seven, [or] eight months on, we are in fact disappointed that the pace at which that…reform has transpired, has not been at a satisfactory level,” he stated.

The Minister further revealed that he met recently with the team working on the restructuring from the Government’s side and the judicial managers to express Government’s concerns. He gave the assurance that an appropriate statement on the matter would be issued in a couple of weeks.

“Hopefully, it will be done jointly with the judicial managers to indicate the timeline which we have now determined that transition should be completed in and with it, the resumption of the payment of the various awards and premiums that are due to the members of the public,” he added.

Stressing that his Ministry was not involved in the day-to-day execution of plans pertaining to the restructuring of CLICO, he continued: “I want to say to those Barbadians who have been ill affected continually by this process that we have not abandoned you and therefore we should apologise publicly for those delays.

“But rest assured that now that the Budget is out of the way, I am going to see to it that that timetable is kept and that that transition is completed before the year is out and that the process will move into the next phase of execution.”

During the conference, which is being hosted by the Central Bank and the Financial Services Commission, Mr. Sinckler said Government was keeping an eye on Britain’s exit from the European Union and urged the public not to panic.

“The pound sterling is a strong, internationally-traded currency, and once the British economy settles down from this temporary shock…we expect that the pound sterling will regain its strength and once again be a leader in the international currencies across the world.

“So from the level of the Government, we are keeping eyes on it; we are sensitive to the issues but we are not getting overly excited and worrying about what will take place,” he stressed.

Mr. Sinckler said Britain was one of Barbados’ greatest international partners and the two countries had worked together in a number of areas.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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