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Sunday 21 September 2014

Swiss transfer bid for old Quinn policies

Published 23/08/2014 | 02:30

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The joint administrators of Quinn Insurance Limited have asked the High Court to give them the go-ahead to transfer 5,000 health policies to a unit of insurance giant Swiss Re.

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But no customers will be affected by the move.

The accounts are effectively in wind-down, being policies where a payout has been made to the customer by Laya Insurance - but where the back office accounting and payments between insurance and so-called re-insurance firms are still being worked through.

Customers stopped paying premiums for the 5,000 policies involved a number of years ago.

The polices, which provide payments to holders in the event they become sick, are all held by people living in Ireland.

The proposed transfer is part of the orderly unwind of QIL's business.

Quinn Insurance was put into administration following an application by the Financial Regulator more than four years ago over serious concerns in relation to how the group was being run.

The joint administrators of the company, Paul McCann and Michael McAteer, have petitioned the court to sanction the transfer of the 5,000 policies to Luxembourg-based insurance entity 'iptiQ', which has a branch in Ireland.

The company is part of the Swiss Re group which is a leading global provider of insurance.

It employs more than 11,500 people and had a group net income of US$4.44bn in 2013.

On Friday High Court President Nicholas Kearns was informed the joint administrators have agreed a deal, subject to the approval from the court, for the transfer of the policies.

As part of the proposal, 'iptiQ' will accept all liabilities arising under the polices for a cash consideration from QIL which reflects the value of those liabilities. It is also proposed that iptiQ will also become the controller of the policyholder's data.

In response to questions from the judge, barrister James Doherty for the joint administrators said that it is hoped the proposed transfer "will be as smooth a transition as possible".

He added that the proposed transfer will not affect the policies involved.

Yesterday Mr Justice Kearns made a number of preliminary directions including one allowing the joint administrators to advertise the proposed scheme of transfer.

The full hearing of the joint administrator's application will come before the High Court in early October.

Irish Independent

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