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Trinidad to contribute US$100 million to BAICO issue

Trinidad to contribute US$100 million to BAICO issue


Efforts to assist policy holders of the British American Insurance Company (BAICO) received a further boost this week, with the reaffirmation by the Trinidad and Tobago government that they would contribute US$100 million towards the issue.{{more}}

Prime Minster Dr Ralph Gonsalves made this announcement on Wednesday, July 11, during a press conference at Cabinet Room, as he reported on the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting, which took place in St Lucia last week.

Dr Gonsalves said that as early as the end of this month, some of the promised funds could be on their way to shareholders.

“My understanding of immediate is that within a week or so, they could have the money transferred; two weeks maybe.

“I’m hoping that we can move things fast enough that all of them can get something by Christmas.

“This is predicated obviously, on how fast we get the money out of Trinidad. They say we would get the first 36 million right away, the next 40 million almost immediately afterwards….”

Doctor Gonsalves said that another $24 million would be transferred to the East Caribbean Central Bank at an agreed time.

The Prime Minister indicated that up to eighty per cent of the of the annuitants could be paid off with the first installment of the contribution, which totals about EC$100 million dollars.

He said that an insurance fund would then have to be set up, which would determine how the rest of the proceeds would be distributed to the remaining twenty per cent of the annuitants.

“And then of course, there are the ‘pots’ to come from the lawsuit against the financial institution here and also in the U.S.” Dr Gonsalves said.

The Prime Minister said that the combined efforts by the leaders of the ECCU to reimburse shareholders and policy holders has been a painstaking and detailed one.

He also pointed out that the journey is far from over.

“We have been at this problem for three years, and in a very focused way we have been addressing it bit by bit.

“This is a major breakthrough; so we would have been having good news for the policy holders over the last couple of weeks.”

The Prime Minister two weeks ago announced a sale purchase agreement of the BAICO traditional life business to Sagicor.(JJ)