Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 7th 2015 Contents RESHMA RAGOONATH
Axed Clico chairman Gerald Yet-
ming is calling out Central Bank
Governor Jwala Rambarran as he
raises questions over his sudden
dismissal from Clico following
multi-million dollar payouts made
to former Clico directors.
Yesterday Yetming, in a statement
to the Sunday Guardian, said, "The
governor's action needs explanations,
since the implications of his actions
can be far reaching."
This follows an announcement by
the Central Bank in a brief statement,
on Friday night, that it had terminated
Yetming's appointment as chairman
and Carolyn John's appointment as
managing director of Clico pursuant
to its powers under Section 44(D) of
the Central Bank Act. Wendy Ho Sing
has been appointed executive chair-
man of Clico with immediate effect.
According to the release, the Cen-
tral Bank said it took this action after
"Clico failed to follow direct instruc-
tions issued by the Bank on March
26, setting out the protocols for all
disbursements to policyholders and
creditors under the Clico Resolution
"These instructions included
obtaining approval from the Bank for
all payments prior to disbursement,"
the release stated.
Questions have also been raised as
to what prompted the about turn
made by the Central Bank after it
issued a statement on Wednesday in
which it said that the directors were
being paid as creditors, and not direc-
tors who may have assisted in the
collapse of the company.
The statement on Wednesday had
said, "In respect of the other former
directors and officers of Clico, where
the Central Bank and Clico have not,
based on forensic findings and legal
advice, contemplated or initiated any
litigation against such persons to date,
there would be no legal basis on which
Clico may now withhold payment to
them as policyholders/creditors at
the point of liquidating its debts to
creditors from its own assets."
'They did not follow protocol'
However, Yetming, who is currently
abroad, speaking to the Sunday
Guardian, dismissed allegations lev-
elled against him, declaring that no
protocols or instructions from the
Central Bank were breached.
"The operational details and
requirements of the Central Bank
were worked out between Carolyn
John and senior officers of the Cen-
tral Bank. Everything done by Clico
was in accord and Central Bank was
kept informed every step of the way
without question or concern," Yet-
"I am not an executive chairman.
Having received a broad Clico res-
olution plan, Carolyn John as MD
worked closely with senior CB officers
to implement. We did everything in
The issue came to light after con-
cerns were raised that four former
Clico directors and their companies
were paid $36,188,690.90.
According to media reports, former
directors Ian Garcia and his company
Events Unlimited; Clinton Ramber-
ansingh and his connected parties
(Bianca Ramberansingh and Martina
De Silva); Vishnu Ramlogan; and Nigel
Salina and his company Nigel Salina
and Associates were among ten iden-
tified as being paid $48.5 million.
Sources close to the company sug-
gested that the manner in which the
payouts were made was not in keep-
ing with the protocols outlined in the
bank's March 26 letter to Yetming
and copied to John.
The letter, a copy of which was
obtained by the Sunday Guardian,
outlines seven broad terms to be fol-
lowed in the planned resolution of
Clico and measures to facilitate pay-
ments to creditors.
The letter also sets out eight special
directions for Clico, which were indi-
cated to the Central Bank through a
March 25 letter from the Ministry of
Finance and the Economy, to facilitate
the implementation of the resolution
Among the special directions was
the explicit provision that Clico
"obtain the approval of the Central
Bank for all payments under the res-
olution plan prior to disbursement."
This is the main area of contention
for the Central Bank.
It is understood that payments
were being made to "non-assenting"
members (those who did not accept
the Government's bailout package)
without the Central Bank's knowledge
A list of payees was handed over
to the Central Bank after the pay-
ments had already been disbursed.
Yetming said, "With the exception
of a letter instructing that no payment
be made to Gita Sakal, no instruction
was received by me or (Ms) John to
withhold payment to any other
He said the Central Bank approved
all communication to the public
regarding the payout and approved
the timing of the advertisements.
"The Central Bank never indicated
that there were to be payments with-
held in the many meetings with (Ms)
Yetming said he would make a
more detailed statement on the matter
within the next day or two.
Clico officials contend that Yetming
and John are being made scapegoats
for the fallout from the publicised
The Sunday Guardian understands
that on Friday, John met with a team
of officials from the Central Bank
where she was informed of her ter-
John has reportedly consulted her
attorneys about the matter and is
expected to take legal action against
the Central Bank, the Sunday
Guardian learnt. The Sunday
Guardian was unable to contact John
Permell---Forensic audit needed
Head of the Clico Policyholders
Group, Peter Permell, renewed his
call for a forensic audit into the entire
Permell, in a media release issued
yesterday, said based on additional
information reaching the group,
"there appears to be much more to
He said not only would the group
prefer to wait until it had heard from
all the parties involved before making
a definitive statement on the matter,
but "we are calling for an immediate
forensic investigation to determine if
these payments were above board."
He said the last time something
like this was alleged to have happened
was in 2009 when senior officials at
Clico conspired to sell Clico Energy
Limited (Cel) to Proman "at an alleged
under-value without either the
knowledge or approval of the Ministry
of Finance (which had jurisdiction at
This, he said, was prior to Clico
coming under the control of the Cen-
June 7, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Yetming calls out CB governor
...as he defends payout to Clico directors
March 27, 2015 -- Governor issues letter to Clico outlining
three-phase distribution strategy for payment of residual
STIP holders on Clico's books. $4.2B paid to Government.
April 8, 2015 -- Clico prepares draft communication to
STIP holders and submits to CBTT (Carl Hiralal) for
approval. Clico and CBTT exchange emails on content and
format. The communication at no time indicated that
related parties were to be excluded and CBTT made no such
April 9, 2015 -- Instructions from Carl Hiralal to arrange
tentative placement for ads in newspapers.
April 13, 2015 -- Final ad approved by CBTT. Includes
Alpha schedule, advisory on documents required and
turnaround period of ten days for payment. Includes ALL
STIP holders with no exclusion of related parties.
April 14, 2015 -- Commencement of communication to
non-assenting STIP holders via newspapers and company
April 20 -30, 2015 -- Email correspondence between
Clico's MD, actuary and M Chong Tail Bell of CBTT regarding
STIP holder statements and payment files.
May 5, 2015 -- Complete payment file for all STIP holders
inclusive of related parties, submitted to M Chong Tai Bell
for approval. Files from previous payout also submitted as
requested. No comment from Chong Tai Bell after delivery
of documents. Clico proceeds on the understanding that all
is in order. Chong Tai Bell was advised that full related
parties STIPs file (inclusive of names) was sent to Carl
Hiralal on February 19, 2015.
May 01, 2015 -- CBTT issues letter to Clico chairman
advising that no payments are to be made to G Sakal and
any company with which she is associated. Letter also
advises that any other defendants in the FOP matter are
not to be paid. No other defendants hold STIPS with Clico.
May 01, 2015 -- In accordance with ads in the
newspapers, payout process commences.
May 13, 2015 -- In keeping with advertised ten-day
turnaround, first processed STIP holder is paid.
May 15, 2015 -- Status update meeting at CBTT. Agenda
item eight---Resolution Plan; Payment to STIP holders.
Present were Carl Hiralal, Nicole Chapman, Denise Daniel,
Neil Dingwall, Anika Ghent and Shivana Pinto Pereira, all
representing CBTT. For Clico: Carolyn John and Wendy
Hoyte. CBTT officers were advised of the status of the
payout and particularly that the related parties had come
forward in the first days of the process. No issues were
raised relative to related party payments.
June 3, 2015 -- Clico holds its regular board meeting. In
attendance was Mr Neil Dingwall, special adviser to the
Governor. All attendees are provided with board packages
which included an update on payment to STIP holders---
schedule of payments made for the period May 1 to 29, 2015.
YETMING'S TIMELINE IN RESPECT OF CLICO RESOLUTION STRATEGY
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