BIPA watching and waiting
The Barbados Investors and Policyholders Alliance (BIPA) is patiently waiting to see how the Barbados Labour Party Administration handles the CLICO and BAICO fallout.
BIPA vice-president Deighton Smith said they realised Barbados was in a tough situation and the Government had its work cut out for it, so they were satisfied to watch and wait, at least for now.
“We are now finding out where we stand. [Government] is in the process of negotiations with the IMF [International Monetary Fund] and restructuring [the country’s] debt, so at the end of those negotiations, we will then be able to determine how that restructuring will affect us and to what extent the Government has looked after our interests,” he said.
Smith was speaking to the Weekend Nation after the alliance’s sixth annual general meeting on Wednesday evening at the L.V. Harcourt Lewis training facility, Belmont Road, St Michael. He is hopeful the new administration has them in mind.
“We trust they will look favourably on all of these Barbadians who have suffered for so long and do their best to make sure the court solution that was put in place comes to fruition.
“I have no reason to doubt that Government will uphold its obligations. When they were in Opposition, they expressed support for BIPA’S cause and I expect, now they’re in Government, they would show that support in a very tangible way,” he said.
Smith said BIPA was doing well, as it had seen a lot of its hard work come to fruition.
“The transfer to Reslife (Resolution Life Assurance Company Limited) has been completed and a lot of our members have begun to receive payments – people who had arrears; people who had death benefits to be paid – and a lot of those with outstanding maturities have also received payments.
“Our pensioners are receiving payments and we are now awaiting the Government’s debt restructuring so our EFPA [Executive Flexible Premium Annuity] policyholders will get what was agreed upon in the court,” he said.
BIPA’S executive was re-elected unopposed, with president June Fowler now leading the entity for the eighth year. She said she was honoured by the members’ faith in her and gave the assurance that she was as dedicated and focused now as she was when she started.
“I really want to see this through to the end with a successful resolution for the policyholders, and I am humbled the organisation still wants me to lead,” she said.
BIPA members attending the meeting. The organisation is waiting on the results of Government’s debt restructuring initiatives.