Troubled Quinn Life narrows its losses to €1.7m
Reduction in premium income blamed on 'loss of confidence'
Quinn Life, the life assurance writing arm of the troubled Quinn Group, managed to narrow its losses last year to €1.7m from €2.2m a year earlier even as its premium income tumbled over 20pc to €18.7m from just under €24m.
In accounts just filed for the business, directors explained that the reduction in premium income reflected a "general loss of confidence" in investment markets since 2008.
Funds under management at the unit rose to €132.6m at the end of last year from just under €103m at the end of 2008.
"Claims fell from €18.6m in 2008 to €8.66m in 2009, reflecting the turbulent market conditions of 2008," the directors added.
They pointed out that a contributory factor to the loss incurred last year was an impairment included to the charge for deferred acquisition costs following a review of the "recoverability of that asset".
The life assurance arm is one of the Quinn subsidiaries that is up for sale.
Earlier this year the Financial Regulator began a probe into Quinn Life's Leonardo unit-linked property fund where the fund had been used to invest in properties in Ukraine. Almost 200 people, mostly individuals close to the Quinn family and employees of the Quinn Group, were the investors in the fund.
There were concerns over a sizeable amount of money that had been borrowed from Anglo Irish Bank on the strength of the fund, which subsequently collapsed in value.
Quinn Life said the fund accounted for 6pc of the life insurer's total funds under management.
The accounts note that Quinn Life's 44.5pc share in the Swedish company that controls the Leonardo fund fell in value from €11.9m in 2008 to €7.8m at the end of last year.
The latest set of Quinn Life accounts also note that the company suffered a €5.6m loss on the realisation of unspecified investments last year. That compared to a €2.9m gain from the realisation of investments in 2008.
Of its gross premiums written last year, almost all were for clients in the Republic of Ireland with just a tiny amount for clients in Northern Ireland.
Over €8.2m periodic premiums for unit-linked contracts were written by the company last year for clients in the Republic of Ireland, and an additional €9.6m in single premiums for unit-linked contracts.