Thursday 27 April 2017

Three former RSA Insurance Ireland employees fined after admitting misconduct at company

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Three former staff members of RSA Insurance Ireland (RSAII) have been sanctioned and fined by a UK watchdog.

The former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and two former actuaries admitted misconduct following an Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) investigation into financial irregularities at the firm.

Rory O'Connor, former CFO, was dismissed by RSA in early 2014 for accounting irregularities that led to the group overstating its profits in Ireland.

Mr O'Connor admitted that his conduct fell significantly short of the standards reasonably to be expected of a Member of CIMA.

Mr O'Connor has been excluded from CIMA for three years, fined £50,000 (reduced to £35,000 after mitigation and a settlement discount) and must pay 18,000 as a contribution to the FRC Executive Counsel’s costs.

Former Chief Actuary, Martin Ryan, admitted that his conduct fell significantly short of the standards reasonably to be expected of a Member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA).

He accepted "breaching the core principles of competence and care, and compliance when he signed inaccurate Statements of Actuarial Opinion" and submitted them to the Central Bank of Ireland between 2009 and 2012.

Read more: Tears and fears as RSA meltdown in Ireland is laid bare

Mr Ryan will be ineligible for three years for a practicing certificate issued by the IFoA. He has also been fined £145,000 (reduced to £101,500 after mitigation and a settlement discount) and expected to pay £11,000 as a contribution to the Executive Counsel’s costs.

Former Actuary Gerard Bradley admitted that, during 2009 and 2010,  he "breached the core principle of compliance by his failure to whistle-blow and/or provide sufficient challenge regarding the operation of an inappropriate claims reserving practice within RSAII".

He has been fined £70,000 (reduced to £45,500 after mitigation and a settlement discount), a reprimand and is expected to pay £3,500 to as a contribution to the Executive Counsel’s costs.

"“These significant sanctions, including a period of exclusion and substantial fines, reflect the seriousness of the failings by these individuals and will send a strong signal to the accounting and actuarial professions of the importance of upholding high standards of professional conduct," Gareth Rees QC, Executive Counsel to the FRC, said.

"These sanctions will also serve to protect the public and contribute to the maintenance of public confidence in the accountancy and actuarial professions.

"It is also notable that these are the first sanctions imposed on actuaries pursuant to the FRC Actuarial Scheme, and they demonstrate the importance of compliance with the core principles of the Actuaries Code, including the obligation to speak up about, and challenge, improper conduct.”

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