Opposition Leader calls on Central Bank to assure the public that their financial portfolios are safe
Last Monday and Thursday, I spoke to the country regarding Michael Lee Chin’s recent financial manoeuvres at NCB Financial Group and questioned our financial industry’s exposure to a systemic collapse triggered by NCBFG.
The public of Trinidad and Tobago is worried about the financial health of Guardian Holdings Limited, as billions of dollars of savings are invested in GHL.
GHL put out an internal memo last week without any accompanying evidence, stating that they are in good financial health. They have now put out their financials for the months gone by showing a profit as compared to a loss the previous year.
Respectfully, this is not what was asked about. Does the management of GHL believe policyholders are stupid and will be quieted by their financial release which has little bearing on what is being asked?
The management of GHL seems unwilling to come out and speak to the public. This constant refusal to account is causing great concern in the minds of policyholders.
I am again calling on the Central Bank Governor, the Minister of Finance, and the Boards of Guardian Holdings Limited and NCBFG to answer:
1. Does the potential failure of the NCB Financial Group pose a systemic risk to our financial sector?
2. Did this Government invest monies from our HSF into NCB Financial Group and any of their offerings?
3. It is reported that there is a new chairman of GHL. Why was Patrick Hylton removed as Chairman of GHL? Was it because of financial impropriety?
4. It is reported that Dennis Cohen has been removed from the board, Why was he removed? Was it because of financial impropriety?
5. Are the assets of NCBFG and GHL overleveraged?
We cannot sit idly by and let another Clico meltdown occur. Since the management of GHL refuses to speak, I am calling on the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago to act immediately to conduct a financial stress test on Guardian Holdings Limited.
I am again calling on the Central Bank Governor, the Minister of Finance, the Boards of Guardian Holdings Limited and NCB Global to come out publicly and guarantee the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago that their financial portfolios are safe.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition