CBCS representatives in Parliament on Friday with Finance Minister Ardwell Irion and his delegation.
PHILIPSBURG–Resolving the issues surrounding pension insurer ENNIA is very important to the Central Bank of Curaҫao and St. Maarten (CBCS), assured CBCS President Richard Doornbosch in response to a question during last Friday’s meeting of Parliament’s Committee of Finance.
“This is certainly a very important issue for the Central Bank. We are working hard to come to a restructuring of ENNIA to make sure that the policy holders of ENNIA are not being cut,” stated Doornbosch.
“This is not easy because as we have seen in the court case documents, there is an important solvency shortage in the company and this is obviously our primary strategy – to get this money back from those that withdrew these funds … and being convicted by the court.”
He said while the verdict is very good, the assets are mostly in the United States. “And so, we are filing procedures by the court in Texas and the court in California and that takes longer than expected to have these court cases recognised by these court in Texas and the court in California to make sure that we can actually indeed execute the verdict.”
He added: “And maybe one important remark – why is there discussion with the governments, which I am not going to go into detail about, is that it takes time. So, the strategy seems really to take as many legislative measures and so to legalise the proceeding as much as possible. So, that is the strategy of Parliament and Mr. [Hushang] Ansari and it takes a lot of time and so we don’t have this time and so we want that there is a solution for those that are reliant, for their pension, on ENNIA, to be able to get this pension also in the time that we are going after the funds that are being held in the United States by Mr. Ansary.”
In the meantime, the Netherlands has asked both Curaçao and St. Maarten to “come up with a solution to the problems at ENNIA. State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitization Alexandra van Huffelen said last week that the intention is to achieve long-term refinancing of the liquidity loans, tailored to the countries’ financial capacity. Van Huffelen said, “It is important for the budget risks to be clear and for measures to be taken to manage those risks. If a solution is found for this problem, we can arrive at an appropriate refinancing.”
It is understood that a capital contribution of between 600 million and 700 million guilders is needed by the end of 2023 to prevent policyholders from having their pensions cut. This money should come from the governments, pending the outcome of the liability case against ENNIA’s owner Hushang Ansary and return of withdrawn funds.
The Daily Herald posed a number of questions to Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs on the matter on Monday. The paper asked the prime minister what is her take on the request from the Netherlands for St. Maarten to come up with solutions for ENNIA; whether St. Maarten’s Council of Ministers (COM) has already discussed this issue and if not, when will the COM discuss these issues; what solutions does COM see to this issue and what is the Prime Minister’s take on this being tied to the refinancing of the liquidity support loans that the country had received.
Jacobs was also asked whether taxpayers’ money should be used to save ENNIA. The prime minister said she would provide a response today.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/doornbosch-ennia-issue-very-important-for-cbcs