Mar 02, 2009 News
…Conflict of interest for van Beek to manage embattled company – AFC
Alliance for Change Leader Raphael Trotman has called for an independent investigation into whether Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) Guyana was allowed to flout the law following the recommendations from the Commissioner of Insurance more than a year ago that it repatriate investments abroad above the stipulated limit.
According to Trotman, the nation needs to know the answers to the apparent inefficiency by the regulator to have CLICO flout the law for such an extended period of time.
“Was it deliberate?” Trotman questioned.
The AFC leader also posited that there was a glaring conflict of interest in having the Commissioner of Insurance Maria van Beek be appointed as judicial manager of the company, given her track record in regulating, as well as the fact that she would have a hand in the day-to-day running of the company.
He added that there is the issue of the oversight of the other insurance companies, and the fear that CLICO would be given preferential treatment as against the others.
The ACF leader in an earlier comment had stated that the takeover of CLICO (Guyana) by the Commissioner of Insurance left more questions than answers.
Speaking with this newspaper, he had stated that he would use the opportunity that will be presented in the National Assembly this week by way of a motion signalled by Opposition Leader Robert Corbin to seek to have some outstanding questions answered.
According to Trotman, he will be seeking to find out whether there were any signs of irregular withdrawals prior to the takeover.
He added that there is also the poignant question of whether there was any abuse of insider information which allowed a selected few to withdraw their money from CLICO prior to the move by Government.
Trotman added that the question of how many persons were exposed to a possible loss of their resources was still unclear.
As it relates to the sale of the shares owned by CLICO in the Berbice River Bridge to New Building Society, Trotman says he will be seeking to find out whether it was in anticipation of the problems which led to the takeover.
He was also curious about what the proceeds from the sale were used for, given that it happened some two weeks prior to the takeover.
The AFC leader also said that the nation must also be informed of what were the specific transactions that occurred within CLICO following the fiasco in Trinidad with CL Financial. Commissioner of Insurance Maria van Beek last Thursday was successful in a bid in the High Court to take control of the assets of Colonial Life Insurance Company, CLICO (Guyana).
According to an order by Acting Chief Justice, Ian Chang, CLICO (Guyana) was immediately placed under Judicial Management until the court otherwise orders.
The Commissioner of Insurance has been appointed Judicial Manager of the entity.
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