Sunday, April 21, 2024

Hard line

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A FORMER GOVERNMENT official believes the full force of the law should be brought to bear as aggrieved policyholders and investors anxiously await a settlement to the CLICO debacle.
William Layne, the outspoken former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance, made the comments in a SUNDAY SUN exclusive, which came against the backdrop of a $10 million lawsuit filed against the company by former chairman Leroy Parris.
Subsequent investigations by the SUNDAY SUN have revealed that Parris, who resigned as chairman of CLICO Holdings last May, was recently reappointed a director of the embattled company. His reappointment came last November 15, but the development was only filed with the Registry on January 6.
The other members of the current board are CLICO Holdings president Terrence Thornhill and Trinidadians Marlon Holder, Steve Bideshi, Rajaram Boodhai and Gerard Yetming, the former Trinidad and Tobago finance minister.
On January 19, Parris also reclaimed his position on the board of CLICO International Life Insurance Limited. The other local representative on that board is Geoffrey Brewster, along with Trinidadians Holder, Bideshi, Boodhai and Yetming.
While reiterating that he had nothing personal against Parris, Layne was adamant that he (Parris) and other members of CLICO’s board of directors (at the time of the collapse) ought to be held accountable for the contagion, which goes way beyond Barbados.
In the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), for example, the exposure is said to be in the order of $1 billion following the 2009 collapse of CLICO’s parent company CL Financial.
“You really have to ask why was this allowed to happen,” said Layne.

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