C.L. Financial’s assets vanished into thin air – $100.7 billion down to $23.9 billion

CL Financial Fraud

“Given accounting conventions as to intervening events and their reporting, it is startling, to say the least, that this balance sheet should have declined to $24Bn just 12 months and 13 days after their reporting date. Only 56 days after publication.  This is an aspect of the fiasco which has not been discussed in public, so far.

We need to hear some accounting of this extraordinary situation.  Just to select one item of interest, Loans and Advances are shown as $21.975Bn in the CLF 2007 accounts and yet only $8.0Bn is there at 13th January 2009.

My reading of this is that CL Financial’s assets declined in value from $100.7Bn at the end of 2007 to $23.9Bn at the beginning of 2009.”

… from Afra Raymond’s excellent article Finding the Assets

Further Reading

BFP, June 3, 2009 – CL Financial, CLICO Fraud Report: Dummy Company, Phantom “Consultancy” Payments, Vanishing Money Transfers From Company To Company

BFP, June 2, 2009 – EXCLUSIVE REPORT BY BARBADOS FREE PRESS: CL Financial Group Collapse – Insiders Took Bribes To Have Company Purchase Land For More Than Market Value!


Filed under Barbados, Business, Corruption, Offshore Investments

26 responses to “C.L. Financial’s assets vanished into thin air – $100.7 billion down to $23.9 billion

  1. Donald Duck, Esq

    We need to see the 2008 financials for

    (a) clico life
    (b) clico mortgage and finance
    (c) clico balanced fund
    (d) clico general

  2. a much bigger story

    Donald Duck, Esq

    In addition, for the transparency we were promised, we need detailed audited financial statements of government corporations such as GEMS, NIS, Dodds, 3S, etc.

    The NIS and other government agencies were used
    as personal piggy banks to fund projects, among other things, involving the personal failed assets of politicians and friends.

    This money should have all been private investment funds from offshore ( not taxpayers ) but then again who would invest in Barbados with such lack of suppport and disrespect of capital from the politicians and bureaucracy?

    Unfortuneately, the write down of these assets would be similar or worse than Clico, basically demonstrating the magnitude of the losses, the incompetency and the theft of public trust funds.

    I think if you examine the audited statements of the regulated Banks in Barbados you will witness
    some reduction in asset value due to the recession but nothing compared to the write downs of government controlled assets.

  3. Donald Duck, Esq

    A much bigger story

    FYI, the entities you refer to are owned by Government. The financial position of the nis is reported every month in the Central bank monthly statistical report. The debt incurred in building Dodd’s is now included in the monthly report of the country’s debt profile. 3S would already be accounted for in the country’s accounts. The only one left is GEMS. There is no obligation on government’s part to release the financial statements of this company to the public.

    However the directors of the clico companies that i have mentioned above do have an obligation to release the financial statements of the company to the public.

  4. Nostradamus

    Donald Duck, Esq

    “There is no obligation on government’s part to release the financial statements of this company to the public”

    Sorry Donald but they are under an obligation. Those financials should at minimum be filed with CAIPO and the people who elected them and pay their salaries deserve to see those financials.

    You sound like a BLP operative.

  5. Donald Duck, Esq


    You need to read the companies act! Why is it that when you go to CAIPO that you never see the financials for any subsidiary of say a major conglomerate in Barbados!!

  6. a much bigger story

    Donald Duck

    The subsidiaries of any government corporation significantly impact on the parent corporation if the audited statements are to have any relevance and accuracy.

    As part of full transparency, these companies whether subsidiaries or parent should be fully audited independently and every expenditure examined.

    When you say these other companies are reported by the Central Bank as part of their debt disclosure does this mean these companies have been fully audited independently and that we can expect a full report of the monies spent on, NIS, 3S and Dodds and that the money was spent judiciously and all assets have written down to fair market value?

    Its not good enough to say that the requirements of the law have been met or that the law does not require it, but rather have the expenditures been independently audited, explained and disseminated to the public.

    This is what full ITAL means!

    The Directors of Clico have a lot of explaining to do when three quarters of the assets have disappeared in a year but whether DLP or BLP, the government accounts should be fully disclosed based on a 2009 independent asset and liability valuations for everyone to see.

  7. Donald Duck, Esq

    A much bigger story

    Who now is the political operative!!!!

  8. Brutus

    From the Auditor-General’s 2008 report:

    “There are a number of Statutory Boards which are late in presenting their
    financial statements for audit, and these include the National Insurance
    Department and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic which are in
    excess of five years in arrears. This late financial reporting is contrary to
    the legislation under which these entities were established and can create
    an environment where fraud can remain undetected.”

  9. Brutus

    Donald Duck, does GEMS have any connection with Barbados Hotel & Resorts? Because here is what the Auditor-General has to say about the latter:

    Hotels and Resorts Ltd. was incorporated under the Laws of Barbados on
    27th December 1995. The principal activity of Hotels and Resorts Ltd. is
    the investment in and development of hotel properties. The audit of the
    accounts for the financial years ended 31st December 2002, 2003, 2004
    and 2005 have been completed. However, audits for the financial years
    2006 to 2008 are currently outstanding.

  10. 33 year NIS contributor

    How much NIS money is invested with CLICO and what collateral does the NIS dept hold for this money?
    How safe is our NIS investment with CLICO?

  11. FACTS

    Donald Duck,

    You are right again!

    We need to separate these 4 entities and stop fooling the public.

    CMF has never been in any sort of financial trouble. It has been, and still is a very strong financial entity.

    We need to stop jumbling these companies and be honest.

  12. Adrian Loveridge

    How can a publicly owned (taxpayer) company like Hotels and Resorts Limited (GEMS) be allowed NOT to publish their audited accounts in a timly manner (ie) within six months of the end of their financial year)?

    I am still convinced the predatory pricing consistently practiced by GEMS over the years has played a major part in the closure of more than 30 hotels and the lack of viability within the hotel sector which has inhibited plant upgrading.

  13. kiki

    One explanation could be there was a sudden mass exodus of a majority of their underlying clients.

  14. Hants

    “the predatory pricing consistently practiced by GEMS ”

    Care to elaborate Adrian?

  15. Adrian Loveridge



    Selling below actual cost.

    When Silver Rock closed under Sir Harold St. John (who I considered a great personal friend) its lowest rate was US$110 per room per night.
    After spending $30 – $40 million (by Hotels and Resorts) with taxpayer monies it re-opened at a minimum rate of US$80 per room per night.
    Lower rates than the competiting private sector accommodation providers in the area.

    During the BOB promotion GEMS has consistently offered some of the lowest rates. ONLY possible due to not having to operate as a commercially viable entity (like the rest of us).

    The delay in publishing their latest audited accounts is a huge mistake by the new Government in my opinion.

    The late Sir John Stanley Goddard repeatedly called for the accounts to be made public.

    Now is the time to honour the memory of this great Barbadian.

  16. Nostradamus

    Hants, do you now comprehend what Adrian elaborated on?

    He is 100% correct. So not only was taxpayers money going down the drain but the government was killing the small and not so small hoteliers.

    And all of this when we had a supposed financial guru at the helm.

  17. Nostradamus


    Where can we see the 2008 financials for CMF and Clico General Insurance?

    Were they published in the press? Maybe they were but I do not recall seeing them. Maybe if they did publish their financials we would “stop jumbling these companies” .

    I know I have seen Signia, Globe, Consolidated, even CGI.

  18. Donald Duck, Esq


    You omitted to enquire about the whereabouts of the financials for clico life which may be the entity with the most problems.

  19. kiki

    Another problem is when companies work
    ‘off the books’ their accounts ain’t worth that
    much anyhow. Forensic accountants are
    fraudulently expensive, stupid and lazy.

  20. Nostradamus

    @ Donald Duck, Esq

    We want to see them all. Who are the directors of these companies who are not carrying out their statutory obligations? Aren’t they culpable?

  21. Hants

    Now I get it Adrian and Nostradamus.

    All this happened when Owing,MIA,Blarney and Maaaascul were in the best years of their 14 year reign.

    In the words of our famous philosopher Malik as renditioned in the song “world cup”, all uh dem really fuh

    Let us be pellucid. Gems,3s,Dodds and a Billion dollars in debt created by the BLP during their 14 years in power.

  22. Nostradamus


    Quite right, but what is also pellucid is that the DLP is heading right down the same path.

  23. Hants


    The big difference is that the DLP is governing during a world wide recession saddled by a billion dollar debt, diminishing tax revenue from offshore banking and a contraction in the Tourism and construction industries.

    Barbados is in deep doo doo because of the failure of the BLP’s policies” The Oh see more After doctrine of “land must be used to maximise its value” created the Luxury houses Golf courses” construction industry that has now
    hit the brakes like Lewis Hamilton approaching a 1st gear corner.

  24. Donald Duck, Esq

    Why still no news of the 2008 financial statements for the following companies:

    1. clico life
    2. clico general
    3. clico mortgage
    4. clico balanced fund

    the minister of finance seemed to indicate the other night on TV that everything was fine since there bidders for companies 2 and 3. However if everything was fine why would clico holdings be inviting bids for companies 2 and 3. Why does he not focus on the state of company 1 and tell the multutude of people waiting to hear about the financial status of the company not only at dec 31,2008 but now.

    There is no excuse for the financials for company 4 to be delayed.

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