Governor of the Central Bank Dr Alvin Hilaire

Signing the agreements: Governor of the Central Bank Dr Alvin Hilaire, from left, Neil Dingwall, special adviser to the Governor; Ramchand Ramnarine, managing director, BAT; Claire Gomez-Miller, executive chairman, CLICO and BAT; Andrew Aleong; director, Sagicor; Peter Clarke, director, Sagicor and Robert Trestrail, executive vice president and general manager, Sagicor sign the agreements at the Central Bank in Port of Spain yesterday.

THE CENTRAL Bank yesterday afternoon announced the long-delayed sale of the traditional insurance portfolios of CLICO and British American Trinidad (BAT) choosing its preferred bidder Sagicor Life, a subsidiary of Sagicor Financial Corporation.

While the Central Bank insisted that Sagicor was chosen after a “transparent, competitive and rigorous bidding process,” that process was almost immediately challenged by legal action commenced by Maritime Life, the other shortlisted bidder for the CLICO and BAT traditional portfolios.

Maritime’s British attorney, Edward Fitzgerald QC wrote a pre-action protocol letter to Central Bank Governor Alvin Hilaire last Friday, accusing the Central Bank of acting “irrationally, unfairly and unconstitutionally” by excluding Maritime’s bid for the CLICO/BAT assets.

In its 20-page legal letter, Maritime is proposing to bring a judicial review action against the Central Bank’s decision to approve Sagicor Life as the preferred bidder for the CLICO and BAT traditional portfolios.

The letter is copied to CLICO, BAT, Sagicor Life and Minister of Finance Colm Imbert.

Among the actions that the Central Bank is expected to take, according to the Maritime letter, would be “to quash the decision to prefer Sagicor’s bid and to defer any further decisions in this matter...until the matter has been determined by the courts.”

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