FINANCE Minister Larry Howai yesterday said payments in cash and bonds to depositors and shareholders of the Hindu Credit Union (HCU) will cost the State a total of $600 million.
In making this disclosure, Howai also revealed that HCU depositors and shareholders who had accounts with a balance of over $75,000 with the now defunct credit union, will receive letters in the new year to help recover the monies owed to them. Howai added that with these payments, he is satisfied “this matter is now being brought to a close.”
In a statement, Howai said Government continues to fulfill its promise to HCU depositors and shareholders. “The initial cash payments of amounts up to $75,000 have been completed and payment of the balances on accounts over $75,000 will now be made via Government zero-coupon bonds of varying maturities from one to 20 years with an effective issue date of September 3, 2013,” he stated.
Explaining this meant that the bonds in the first year would have matured on September 2, Howai said, “Government has therefore made cash deposits representing the proceeds of the bonds maturing in the first year directly into the bank accounts of eligible depositors/shareholders as of December 22, 2014 (yesterday).”
Bond allotment letters for the rest of the funds will be available for collection by depositors/ shareholders from January 5 to 16 at the HCU’s Chaguanas office from 8.30 am to 3 pm.
Howai indicated HCU depositors and shareholders must present one form of identification in order to collect their bond allotment letters. He added that had Government not intervened in the way that it did, “approximately 20,000 depositors and shareholders of the HCU who would otherwise have lost all their savings.”
During debate on HCU bailout legislation in the Senate in July, Howai said the credit union’s collapse in 2008 left a $700 million deficit. Sir Anthony Colman who led the commission of inquiry into the 2008-2009 collapse of Clico and HCU presented the report on the HCU to President Anthony Carmona on July 16.