Business Irish

Thursday 8 December 2016

State gets €87m windfall 27 years after ICI collapse

Tim Healy

Published 15/12/2012 | 05:00

John Bruton: as finance minister, he announced the ICI bailout
John Bruton: as finance minister, he announced the ICI bailout

THE State got a small windfall yesterday after the High Court approved the repayment of €87m into the State's insurance compensation fund 27 years after a unit of Allied Irish Banks went bust.

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The ruling means an end is now in sight for the long-running administration of the former Insurance Corporation of Ireland (ICI).

The company, now known as Icarom, was put into administration over the St Patrick's weekend in 1985 when the markets were closed. It was later taken over by the State.

That decision by the then government has many echoes with the recent financial crash, where the highly indebted State was once again forced to bailout banks without knowing the full cost of the decision.

While the bailout of ICI did not break the State's finances, it added to the national debt at a time when the country was already close to breaking point.

The High Court was told yesterday that, due to completion of business and liability transfers, the administrator was in a position to repay €87m to the compensation fund now and expected a further €1.4m would be paid later.

Applications

The administrator expects to make various other applications to the court in January.

This would mean that the administration would finish early next year and the company would be dissolved, the court heard.

The €87m payment follows High Court approval on November 27 of a portfolio transfer of all of Icarom's insurance liabilities to EIFlow Insurance for payment of €17m.

That transfer was completed this week.

It was approved by Finance Minister Michael Noonan and followed a consultation process with the relevant regulatory authorities as required by insurance legislation.

Icarom has now disposed of its entire insurance business, the court heard. It has no remaining insurance liabilities and the administrator is therefore in a position to bring the administration to a close, barrister Ian Finlay said.

Irish Independent

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