30/03/2010

Quinn Insurance Taken Into Receivership

There is widespread shock and concern at news that Co Fermanagh's Quinn Insurance Group has been put into administration by the High Court in Dublin.

SDLP Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Tommy Gallagher said: "I understand the administrators will run only the general insurance business which offers home, health, motor and public liability insurance and that all policies will continue as normal. Hopefully the administrators will be able to maintain all the insurance jobs.

"Obviously the first thought in everyone's mind is whether there might be any implications for the wider Quinn Group, which employs a lot of people in Fermanagh and just over the border in Cavan and is a key player in the local economy.

"The general view is that business is very sound in the non-financial parts of the group," he said this afternoon.

Sean Quinn (pictured) owns Quinn Insurance Group, which has offices in Cavan and Enniskillen.

Joint administrators were appointed after the Financial Regulator expressed serious concerns about the finances of the company and how it was being run.

The Quinn Group said all of its other businesses were unaffected by the move.

Quinn Insurance also operates Quinn Insurance UK.

The regulator has ordered this wing of the company to stop writing new business in the UK.
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"Existing UK policyholders will not be affected by this decision as existing policies will remain valid. Customers can make claims in the normal way," the regulator said.

"The effect of this action is to prevent Quinn Insurance Limited suffering further financial losses from its currently unprofitable UK business."

Lawyers for the regulator told the court it had been discovered that subsidiaries of the company had made guarantees in relation to the group's assets in 2005 which has reduced the value of the assets by €448m.

A statement this afternoon from the Quinn Group confirmed Quinn Insurance Limited had been placed in "provisional administration".

"This is deeply disappointing in the context of the continued profitability of the group which is currently in excess of €20m per month," the statement said.

"However, the regulator has seen fit to take this action in the context of a perceived depreciation of the underlying assets of Quinn Insurance Limited.

"We feel that this issue could have been resolved to the benefit of all in a relatively short space of time and we will be working with the regulator and the provisional administrators to resolve all outstanding matters.

"The business continues to trade as a going concern with the objective of ensuring a financial restructuring to safeguard the overall business in the longer term."

(BMcC/GK)

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