Saturday 21 October 2017

RSA Insurance shares fall to nine year lows on Irish probe

The chief executive of RSA's Irish business has been suspended
The chief executive of RSA's Irish business has been suspended

Donal O'/Donovan

SHARES in insurer RSA Group dropped by almost 17pc today, the biggest fall in nine years.

It was the first opportunity for most investors to react to Friday's announcement by the company that an €83m hole had been discovered in the accounts of its Irish unit.

Shares fell as low as 108.96p in London this morning, and were trading at 109 pence close to midday - 9.77pc lower than Friday's closing price.

RSA is the UK's biggest general insurer and has a market capitalisation of £4.4bn (€5.25m).

The company said on Friday that it will miss it will miss profit targets this year.

RSA is looking into losses and premiums at the Irish unit going back two years, after the financial issues were uncovered by an internal audit in October, executives said on a conference call today.

Three Irish based executives, including the chief executive of the Irish unit Philip Smith, the unit's chief financial officer Rory O’Connor, and its claims director Peter Burke have been suspended. The company said in its statement that it hasn’t made findings against any individuals.

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