SSL gets US$1m insurance payout; staff cut expected by November Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

It is no longer necessary for the Government of Jamaica to provide support for the salaries of Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL) staff members as SSL received an insurance payout of US$1 million.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, announced Tuesday that the insurance claim, made by temporary manager of SSL in April to SSL’s insurers in England, has been settled.

The minister also said SSL’s staff complement is projected to decline from 22 persons currently, to no more than eight persons by the end of November.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke (File photo)

On Tuesday, Clarke said the SSL US$1-million insurance payout enabled SSL to settle the remainder of their August staff salary bill on September 11.

“As such, with this new development, no taxpayer money, no Government of Jamaica resources, no public funds have, or will be used to support SSL in the payment of any of its employees or any other of its expenses,” stated Dr Clarke.

In a release Tuesday, Clarke said SSL’s receipt of insurance proceeds occurred prior to the Financial Services Commission’s finalisation of the steps required for it to provide short-term support to SSL.

Therefore, SSL no longer needs the commission’s support.

“As such, approximately two-thirds of SSL’s net salary bill for August was paid last Monday, without any financial support from the Government. The other one-third had been paid earlier by SSL,” the minister said.

Following the April 2023 filing of the claim on SSL’s overseas insurers, through its insurance brokerage, payment in respect of the insurance claim was made to SSL five months later in an amount that represents the maximum limit claimable under SSL’s insurance policies, the release said.

Pointing out that SSL clients directly own J$ securities, that is stocks and bonds held in the Jamaica Central Securities Depository (JCSD), which form part of SSL’s off balance sheet business, Clarke said as of September 22, SSL will start the process of transferring these J$ client securities from SSL’s custody to other security dealers selected by clients and any J$ cash balances in client accounts will be transferred to banks specified by clients.

“While we expect up to one-third of J$ client balances to be transferred within days, the entire process could take up to six weeks to be completed, given the volume of client accounts,” noted Clarke.

However, the transfer of US$ securities owned by SSL clients will involve collaboration with US-based regulators and US-based investment houses, which will, therefore, take more time.

The release said JCSD and the Jamaica Stock Exchange are working with the temporary manager and the FSC to facilitate the transfer of J$ securities and balances.

SSL clients will be required to complete the relevant Know Your Customer documentation. SSL will communicate directly with its clients on the procedures to be followed, the release added.

Continuing, the release said, given the progress in the investigation recently announced by the Financial Investigation Division and the expected winding down of SSL’s off balance sheet book of business, SSL’s staff complement is projected to decline by the end of November.

“It should be noted, however, that complete removal of SSL as a contingent liability of the GOJ requires a final determination by the Court on the issues surrounding who has proper authority over SSL: whether it is the Financial Services Commission’s appointed temporary manager or the SSL Board appointed Trustee,” the release said.