Zurich won't pursue IL&P probe
SWISS insurance giant Zurich has ruled out asking the European authorities to investigate state-owned Irish Life's recent success in winning a major contract from state-owned AIB.
Industry sources had believed that Zurich, which also bid for the contract, was poised to ask Europe to probe whether the state-ownership of both companies played a role in the transfer of the Ark Life business to Irish Life. But the Irish Independent has learned that Zurich has decided against making any complaint to the European Commission about the way the competition was run or its outcome.
Both Zurich and Irish Life are understood to have begun having talks with AIB in October, when the bank decided to review its existing joint-venture arrangement with Aviva.
Irish Life was ultimately unveiled as the winner in early January, and stands to get an extra €600m of premium incomes a year, or about 5pc of the total market, by writing all new 'Ark Life' business.
In response to a Dail question, Finance Minister Michael Noonan recently said he had "no role to play in the decision" since it was a "commercial" matter for AIB.