Tuesday 28 March 2017

Plea to regulator amid Quinn Insurance job fears

Ireland's Financial Regulator was urged to reopen more of embattled Quinn Insurance's UK business today amid fears that more than 1,000 jobs could be on the line.

While the watchdog has given the go-ahead for some work to resume in the division, administrators appointed to the multinational have warned of staff cuts as a result of ongoing restrictions.

Employees and elected representatives called on regulator Matthew Elderfield to act swiftly and secure jobs.

"Everyone is distressed and anxious and in limbo - we don't know what to do or what segments are being targeted or how many jobs," said workers' spokeswoman Mona Bermingham.

"Until more segments of the market are reopened the revenue won't be coming in."

In a joint statement, Fine Gael politicians Seymour Crawford, TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Senator Joe O'Reilly and Roscommon-South Leitrim TD Frank Feighan said the reopened section offering new policies to provisional drivers accounted for just 10pc of NI/UK business.

"While it is encouraging to see the UK market being opened again to Quinn Insurance for the purpose of selling insurance to provisional licence holders, it is difficult to understand why more products have still not been sanctioned," they added.

"It's absolutely vital that the Government takes whatever steps it can at this very late hour to save as many jobs as possible.

"We still believe there is room for the Government to intervene in order to save as many jobs as it can."

The division was shut down and placed into administration after the regulator expressed concerns Quinn Insurance Ltd (QIL) did not have sufficient funds to cover an influx of claims.

Earlier this week the regulator said the firm could reopen for some business while administrators continued to liaise with Mr Elderfield to reinstate other UK product lines.

A spokesman for the regulator insisted proposals would be considered swiftly.

"The Financial Regulator has requested further information and analysis from the administrators in relation to their proposed business plans for the UK market and will give prompt consideration to proposals backed by robust and detailed information, actuarial analysis and pricing," he said.

"Once further detailed information is provided, the Financial Regulator will examine the directions on the QIL UK business with a view to reopening of certain profitable business lines on a phased basis, in consultation with the UK Financial Services Authority."

Administrators have told employees they are currently assessing the impact of the reduction in the UK division on staffing levels, with an announcement due on April 30.

Press Association

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