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Queeley Calls for ECCB to Apologise to CLICO/BAICO Policy Holders

I wish to place on the record my unconditional support for the call by the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) for legal and economic justice for regional CLICO/BAICO policy holders. I believe the same is just position to adopt, in light of the significant financial and economic losses suffered by individuals and organizations in the OECS sub region including Montserrat.

However, and at the same time, I also wish to place on the record my firm opinion that the Governor of ECCB also and equally have a duty to come out publicly and apologize to regional CLICO/BAICO policy holders for the short comings by the ECCB in terms of the effectively monitoring the regional financial system to prevent occurrences like what transpired with CLICO/BAICO.

It is my humble opinion, that the ECCB should have been more proactive in terms of implementing effective regulations and guidelines to prevent the marketing of deposits and/or near deposit products to regional stakeholders by poorly regulated institutions operating under an insurance licence as opposed to a banking licence.

There is no doubt in my mind that the laid back posture adopted back then by the ECCB, signaled a sense of comfort to regional stakeholders that all was well with the CLICO/BAICO group and its products and services.

The ECCB has over the years done an outstanding job in terms of maintaining financial and economic stability throughout the OECS sub region, but, in my humble opinion, on this particular point, the ECCB had somewhat dropped the ball.

At the same time, I wish to place on record my support for the CLICO/BAICO Plan of Arrangement Bill as proposed by the ECCB throughout the OECS sub region including Montserrat. I am aware that the said bill is currently before the Montserrat Legislative Assembly for approval. The said bill, though not providing for the full compensation of local stakeholders who suffered financially from the CLICO/BAICO debacle, has the potential to bring some measure of financial relief to local BAICO Policy holders in particular, via part payment.

Peter Queeley,
Economic and Financial Analyst/
General Manager
St Patrick’s Cooperative Credit Union Ltd