Sagicor Finance Corporation in St Michael, Barbados

Barbados insurers object to Sagicor acquisition

Sagicor Finance Corporation in St Michael, Barbados

Emmanuel Joseph, writer for Barbados Today newspaper, reported on Monday, November 8, that the the Financial Services Commission (FSC) in Barbados is being asked to review the decision by CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank (CIBC-FCIB) to transfer its pension portfolio to Sagicor.

The Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP) are being transferred by CIBC-FCIB as the commercial bank exits its asset management business in Barbados.

CIBC-FCIB gave clients the option to withdraw the contributions, agree to the transfer to Sagicor, or transfer the funds in the account to an RRSP with another service provider.

CIBC FirstCaribbean’s regional headquarters in Bridgetown, Barbados. (File photo)

In a letter to clients, the commercial bank indicated that it was aiming for “a seamless transition of your arrangements with us to whatever option you choose”, the financial institution said.

Joseph reported that the Barbados Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (BARAIFA) communicated that it was “deeply” troubled that CIBC-FCIB, which has decided to transfer the RRSP accounts of its clients to insurance giant Sagicor, has not given these customers enough time to make well-informed options about their hard-earned investments.

CIBC-FCIB, in a notice dated October 1, 2021, had indicated that transfer of the RRSP to Sagicor would require filling out an application form and other documents no later than November 1, 2021. Joseph said clients have complained to Barbados Today that they only received the notification at the end of October.

A CIBC-FCIB letter to the clients also stated, “If we do not receive a withdrawal or transfer request from you by November 8, 2021 we will understand you to require a transfer of assets (less 25 per cent withholding tax) and we will communicate with you further in this regard, if necessary.”