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THE chief executive of the Irish arm of insurer RSA has resigned, describing himself as a "fall-guy" for issues detected at the subsidiary of the UK-owned group.

Philip Smith is one of three executives at the Irish division who were suspended earlier this month pending the outcome of an internal probe of accounting practices at the subsidiary.

"My family and I have been truly traumatised by recent events and I have taken this most difficult of decisions in the best interests of my family," said Mr Smith (left).

Accountancy firm KPMG has been brought in to conduct the investigation at RSA's Irish arm, which is based in Dublin. The group also owns insurer 123.ie.

No findings of any wrongdoing have been made against Mr Smith or the other executives. On the day the Irish executives were placed on leave, RSA had to pump €100m into its Irish division to ensure its so-called solvency ratio, or the level of funds to cover potential losses, was above 200pc.

Mr Smith (45) said he had served the Irish RSA division well since he was appointed chief executive in 2007, and operated "at all times under group direction and policy to the best of my professional judgment and integrity". Mr Smith said he would be able to "pursue justice better" outside a "current flawed process", referring to the internal investigation being undertaken.