Business Irish

Monday 29 May 2017

Scale of guarantees not disclosed to regulator

Laura Noonan and Ailish O'Hora

THE scale of the massive guarantees that triggered Quinn Insurance's descent into administration was not revealed in any statutory accounts available to the Financial Regulator, the Irish Independent has learned.

The revelation comes a week after tycoon Sean Quinn insisted the "discovery" of that €1.2bn worth of guarantees was not grounds for putting his insurance company into administration, as the new Financial Regulator had claimed.

Mr Quinn backed up his defence by insisting the guarantees were "fully disclosed" in statutory accounts for Quinn Insurance's subsidiaries, which had been available to the regulator for several years.

His comments came after the Financial Regulator succeeded in convincing the High Court to appoint two provisional administrators over concerns about the financial strength of Quinn Insurance.

A trawl of the published accounts for Quinn Insurance's 24 subsidiaries shows the guarantees are referenced in the accounts for just one company, Quinn Logistics Limited.

Borrowings

A note says the company has "entered into cross guarantees of the bank and other borrowings of group undertakings".

It adds that "in the opinion of the directors there are no indications that the company will suffer any loss", but there is no indication of how much the guarantees are for.

Quinn Group's spokesman last night said that a "similar wording" was also included in the accounts for seven other Quinn Insurance subsidiaries. These subsidiaries don't publish their statutory accounts, but the Financial Regulator could have requested copies, he added.

The news comes as the battle to save Quinn Insurance and the entire Quinn Group raged on yesterday, with a series of high-level meetings involving Quinn management, Quinn lenders, Quinn staff, the Financial Regulator, politicians and Enterprise Ireland.

Irish Independent

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