Lessons learned from CLICO/BAICO fallout useful to policy makers, says PM Douglas

Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas during his “Ask the Prime Minister” radio call in programme (Photo by Erasmus Williams)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, OCTOBER 18TH 2011 (CUOPM) – As a two-day conference gets underway at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas says the lessons learned from the CLICO/BAICO experience will be put to constructive use as regional and other policy-makers work to put in place the kind of regulatory changes today’s new and evolving circumstances require.

“It may not be possible to change the past, but it is certainly essential to learn from the past,” said Prime Minister Douglas, during his weekly radio programme “Ask the Prime Minister” on Tuesday.

Dr. Douglas noted that thousands in the Federation and throughout the region recently found themselves having to deal with the reality of a CLICO and BAICO failure.

“This has been extremely difficult experience for the entire region. But out of this experience has also sprung a widespread recognition of the importance of the region carefully examining the facts surrounding CLICO and BAICO, and identifying every possible means of preventing other companies, in that field, in this region, from producing similar results in the future,” he told listeners.

He said during the two-day conference insurance regulators and regional financial secretaries, along with representatives from the Caribbean Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre, the Insurance Association, and the Core Committee on Insurance, will be reviewing the regulatory systems that are now in place, while also weighing and assessing other models may also be worthy of consideration, where the governance of the region’s insurance sector is concerned.

Dr. Douglas said the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the World Bank are the hosts of the discussion which is aimed at developing a framework for the regulation and supervision of the insurance sector, in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.

“The aim being the provision of even greater protection to policy holders in this region. And this will be done by strengthening and harmonizing the regulatory and supervisory framework under which, and within which, insurance companies will be required to function in this region,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who is also the Minister of Finance.

He disclosed that the findings of the effort will be submitted, upon completion, to the ECCB’s Ministerial Subcommittee on Insurance, which is chaired by Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

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