Chairman of the Clico Policyholders Group, Peter Permell is insisting that policyholders be paid their outstanding money before former executive chairman Lawrence Duprey makes any attempt to reclaim the financially-toubled insurance company which had to be bailed out by the T&T Government after it collapsed in 2009.
Permell was responding yesterday to a Sunday Guardian report that Duprey has made an offer to repurchase the company and that the Finance Ministry and Central Bank are said to be “looking at very closely” at the matter.
“The Clico Policyholders Group (CPG) is closely monitoring these developments with the understanding and expectation that if and/or when Mr. Duprey settles Clico’s debt to the Government and by extension the taxpayers of T&T in full, the next key stakeholder group to be settled or paid the balance of money owed to them (by Clico) is the over 15,000 assenting Clico policyholders,” he said in a statement.
“Based on Duprey’s previous statements that he wants to take back his company, the CPG has already signaled to Mr. Duprey that there is absolutely no way that the former Clico executive chairman can ever hope to be taken seriously by the investing public of T&T again if he does not ensure that these policyholders, who have endured tremendous financial hardship and suffering over the past eight years are paid their hard earned money. ”
Permell said the CPG will “continue to pay close attention to these negotiations and recommit ourselves to ensuring that all policyholders must be paid all monies contractually due to them.”
Finance Minister Colm Imbert, who said the matter is at an early stage, added: “If and /or when the ministry forms the view that the offer is realistic, a submission will be made to Cabinet.”
Carlton Reis, a representative of Dalco, a CLF shareholder, is the spokesman for Duprey on the matter. Reports are that the required funds to repay the Government have been raised.
Reis said Duprey returned to Port-of-Spain last month and met with officials of CL subsidiaries but not with any Government representatives.