Services contribute to 60% of the labour force and 48% of the GDP

CIB AND CLICO ILLIQUIDITY

The Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI) supports the measures taken by CL Financial, the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance to address the liquidity problems at CLICO Investment Bank and CLICO itself. TTCSI believes that the actions taken were prudent, responsible and in the best interest of depositors, policy holders, the financial sector and the country as a whole. TTCSI, while acknowledging the need for accuracy, looks forward to : 1)The full accounting of the costs and assets involved in these transactions, in the shortest time possible, in the interest of public accountability and transparency. 2)The extensive utilization of our very experienced and skilled local financial and management services providers, in the restructuring of the various enterprises . 3)The listing, in due course, of the institutions acquired or now controlled by the Government, on the local stock exchange. 4)The immediate strengthening, with bipartisan support, of the regulatory infrastructure within the financial sector, in it broadest definition. This matter also calls to mind recent problems in another area of the financial sector and the need to improve the regulatory structure for other services sectors as well, and the regulated need for all parties - Government, private sector and ordinary citizens to adhere to the the regulations that are implemented. Finally, TTCSI calls on all patriotic citizens, institutions and organizations to display a mature attitude and behavior, devoid of narrow individual or sectarian interests, in the execution of and follow up on the agreed initiatives, to facilitate a quick return to normalcy. As a country, we have made a good start in dealing with this important matter and private sector public sector collaboration has successfully averted a serious crisis, so let us finish in a similar manner. Members of TTCSI, which include the Association of Trinidad and Tobago Insurance Companies (ATTIC) and the Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BATT), stand ready to play whatever role is necessary, as we have always done, for a satisfactory and timely conclusion to this matter. A robust financial services sector is important for the growth and development of all services sub sectors in the economy and to the TTCSI fulfilling its mandate. We share the Minister of Finance's view that together we will get over this hurdle.