CL Financial bailout – Evading Integrity

CL Financial bailout – Evading Integrity

On 18th April 2018 I published ‘Integrity Query’ in this space on ‘the apparent failure or refusal of The Commission to carry out its duties in relation to CLF as required by the Integrity in Public Life Act (IPLA)‘. My 10th September 2012 complaint to the Commission that it had not been performing its duties in relation to the Directors of CL Financial had seemingly vanished, with no real reply to be had.

Then, on 6th August 2018, The Commission gave its written response to my 2012 complaint. That brief reply stated that The Commission considered all available information relevant to my complaint and concluded that those directors were not governed by the IPLA – a further statement was made that CL Financial and its subsidiaries, including CLICO remained a private company in which the Government (sic) had a minority shareholding. (See embedded letter below.) This article delves into that entirely unacceptable reply and its meaning. Continue reading “CL Financial bailout – Evading Integrity”

Advertisements

CL Financial bailout – a summary

CL Financial bailout – a summary

 

This article summarises the total Public Money spent on this CL Financial bailout and also outlines some further concerns.

CLF BAILOUT PAYMENT SUMMARY

COST DETAIL AMOUNT
CLICO $15,833,458,958.00
CIB $1,870,659,526.00
BAICO $1,637,387,140.00
CMMB $736,079,577.00
Interest & Finance $5,802,921,235.96
Accountants $15,212,319.62
Attorneys $37,459,864.43
Bankers $7,934,991.40
Stockbrokers $6,624,173.58
Services & Supplies $2,410,000.57
TOTAL $25,950,147,786.56

Source – Correspondence with Finance Ministry PS

Various payment summaries and the CL Financial Management Accounts (unaudited) for 2015, 2016 and 2017 were provided thus far in response to my requests for information of 4th May 2018. Notwithstanding those details, the Ministry is yet to respond substantively to my requests, so I have instructed my attorneys to take the necessary steps to settle this request for information.

In January 2009, this bailout started with a $5.0 Billion estimated cost. In October 2010, we were told that $7.3 Billion had been spent and that a further $7.0 Billion was needed to pay all the claims – a total of $14.3 Billion. A compilation of the Ministry’s summary data, on which I am relying, show a total of $25.95 Billion in Public Money spent at this stage, taking no account of unsatisfied creditors.

What could possibly have accounted for this staggering increase in expenditure?  Continue reading “CL Financial bailout – a summary”

CL Financial bailout – filling the gaps

This article sets out my ongoing search for all the details of all the payments made under the CL Financial bailout. That includes my recently-concluded litigation and my new requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Consent Order of 24th January 2018 required the Ministry of Finance to provide these details –

  1. Any unaudited financial statements of CL Financial Limited for the years 2008-2011 in the possession of the Ministry of Finance which were relied upon to prepare the affidavits of Minister Winston Dookeran filed on 3 April, 2012 in High Court proceedings CV 2011-01234, Percy Farrell and Others v Clico and others.
  2. Any list of the creditors of CL Financial existing at the date of the request in the possession of the Ministry of Finance, the names of the EFPA holders of Clico, the dates of the repayment of EFPA holders of Clico and the identities of those whose investments have been repaid.

The Ministry’s attorneys have now stated that they are unable to locate the specified financial statements and the list of CLF creditors has not been provided. My team will be responding to press for those details, in the public interest and in accordance with the Appeal Court’s Consent Order. Continue reading “CL Financial bailout – filling the gaps”

CL Financial bailout – the NIF matter

CL Financial bailout – the NIF matter

The National Investment Holding Fund Co Ltd (NIF) was announced (p.18) on 25th June 2018 by the Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert, as an important part of the endgame of the CL Financial bailout. That announcement, which had been prefaced in earlier statements by Minister Imbert, was stated to be part of the process to recover the public money which had been spent on the CLF bailout.

The NIF is a new State-owned and controlled enterprise into which will be transferred just under $8.0 Billion in shares. About $6.0 Billion of those shares are CLF-owned – Republic Finance; WITCO; One Caribbean Media and Angostura – with a further $2.025 Billion of the State’s shares in Trinidad Generation Unlimited making up the balance. Continue reading “CL Financial bailout – the NIF matter”

CL Financial bailout – the Integrity Query

ic-logoYet another worrying aspect of the CL Financial (CLF) bailout fiasco is the role of the Integrity Commission (IC) in these turbid dealings. I am referring to the apparent failure or refusal of The Commission to carry out its duties in relation to CLF as required by the Integrity in Public Life Act (IPLA).

I first raised the prospect that CLF might well be under the IC’s oversight on 28th May 2009, in an article entitled – Judgment Time – Moral Hazard part 3. I have been pursuing that concern steadily since September 2012 and yet the position of the IC is no clearer. On 9th September 2015, I again put the question – Is the integrity Commission being willfully blind towards CL Financial? Indeed, in my March 28th 2018 interview with the Trinidad Express, I stated, in relation to the governance aspects unearthed by my campaign –

“…What is more, our Integrity Commission also seems to have lost its way in failing to recognise that CL Financial is a company under State control. As a result, the Commission has sought no Directors’ declarations from the largest of the State controlled companies. I tell you…”

Given that these are very serious allegations to level against one of our nation’s Public Institutions, I will give the supporting details.
Continue reading “CL Financial bailout – the Integrity Query”

CL Financial bailout – the EFPA details part two

CL Financial bailout – the EFPA details part two

One of the more interesting issues emerging from these EFPA details is the extent to which companies invested in what was approved as an individual investment instrument.

In the previous article, I detailed the significant investments made by State Enterprises, which prompted questions on the governance arrangements applicable to those companies. We know that companies made the investments in the names of individuals, that much was clear from the JSC’s 5th June 2015 Report on the EMBD. Continue reading “CL Financial bailout – the EFPA details part two”

CL Financial bailout – the EFPA Details, part one

CL Financial bailout – the EFPA Details, part one

Declaration

I was a Director of the Trinidad Building & Loan Association (1999-2013) when that organisation purchased EFPA investments and also when those sums were recovered during the bailout via the issue of 20-year bonds.

On Thursday, 22nd March 2018, the Ministry of Finance & The Economy, sent details of EFPA payments (in partial satisfaction of the Appeal Court’s Consent Order of 24th January 2018) under cover of a transmittal letter from the Office of the Chief State Solicitor.

The details provided are for payments of $10.8 Billion in Public Money to EFPA account holders between March 2011 and March 2015. That was an average payout of over $220M TTD per month in that four-year period and would correspond with the September 2011 Parliamentary approval for an additional $10.7 Billion to be spent on the CL Financial bailout. This all raises interesting issues as to the timing of these payments, as shown in this table –

PERIOD Minister of Finance statements on bailout costs EFPA payment details from Ministry of Finance COMMENTS
BEFORE 3rd April 2012 affidavit of Winston Dookeran Para 21 “…(a) $5.0Bn already provided to CLICO;
(b) $7.0Bn paid to holders of the EFPA…”
$6,229,920,482 There is an apparent discrepancy between these figures in the amount of $770,079,518
BETWEEN 3rd April 2012 and 1st October 2012 “…The cost to the national community has been substantial—an amount of $19.7 billion or 13.0 per cent of our current GDP $3,144,270,326 Larry Howai’s 2013 budget statement was that $7.7 Billion had been spent on the CLF bailout after Winston Dookeran’s affidavit. The details from the Ministry of Finance show that only $3.144 Billion of that could be attributable to EFPA payments.
AFTER 1st October 2012 Estimates have ranged from $20 Billion to the $27.7 Billion estimate on 10th May 2017 by the current Minister, Colm Imbert. $1,449,184,402 The Public Money spent after that date exceeds an estimated $6.0 Billion, only a part of which went to EFPA account holders.
$10,823,375,210

Continue reading “CL Financial bailout – the EFPA Details, part one”