Quinn: I'm appalled at damage being done to company
Published 27/04/2011 | 05:00
Ireland's former richest man, Sean Quinn, yesterday hit out at the administrators now running his insurance company and said they had contributed to catastrophic losses at the firm.
Mr Quinn said it was "truly appalling" that consumers would now have to make up the shortfall at the company when the Government imposes a new levy on all non-life insurance policies.
It is understood that the administrators, Grant Thornton, are working on plans to make an application for a €620m call on the Insurance Compensation Fund, which will mean a 2pc levy on most insurance policies.
Mr Quinn and his family issued a statement yesterday attacking the plan. They said when they were replaced at the company its costs were coming down, its claims were being settled and growth was happening.
"It is a truly appalling admission by the administrators of the enormous damage they have caused to one of Ireland's most successful companies in just 13 months," the statement said.
The administrators for their part declined to comment. But they have said before they have actually stabilised the business.
The Department of Finance said it has not yet received an application from the administrators to sanction the sale of Quinn Insurance to the Anglo-Liberty Mutual joint venture.
But Finance Minister Michael Noonan has suggested that the deal may involve the insurance fund being tapped.
In a statement, Mr Quinn claimed that the once hugely lucrative insurer has seen its turnover fall by two-thirds in administration. He said these losses will have major implications for the State and for insurance competition generally.
"This is totally unnecessary and counterproductive," Mr Quinn said. "We have maintained throughout the past 13 months that the appointment of administrators to Quinn Insurance did not have a legal basis and was a major commercial mistake considering that the company had €1.1bn of cash and property assets valued at €400m at the time.
"We voiced our concerns repeatedly that it would eventually have huge negative knock-on implications for jobs, competition and the State. This now unfortunately appears to be coming to pass," he added.