“never any question but that the regulator would remain independent in relation to Quinn Insurance”

The Quinn Group’s campaign continues against the Irish Financial Regulator’s decision to appoint administrators to run its Quinn Insurance arm. Its employees have been on the streets and a number of politicians have been holding meetings with just about everyone involved – although its worth noting the careful footwork of the Irish Minister for Agriculture, Brendan Smith, who met the administrators, but not the Regulator. The Financial Regulator Chief Executive, Matthew Elderfield, is emphasising the independence of his position in the face of the political pressure [The interfering “foreigner”… – Ed] He’s not the only one… Meanwhile, an RTÉ report notes

The TDs, Senators and MLAs from Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and Labour stressed the importance of the employment created by Quinn Insurance and, in particular, the urgent need to lift the ban on the company doing business in the UK. For their parts, the Financial Regulator and the Head of the Central Bank acknowledged the economic importance of the jobs in Quinn Insurance but said regulations were there for a reason and they had a job to do. If the ban is to be lifted, then the UK regulator would also have to become involved.

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  • old school

    Slab creates jobs in the border area as well. Maybe we should over look his dodginess and bail him out too.
    Quinn gambled and lost.
    The company should be sold asap to keep the jobs intact.

  • RobertEmmett

    bail out the captialists when their system fucks up?
    they dont mind collective ownership of thier debts

  • Mrazik

    Surely he could encourage his friends to have a dig-out or a whip round. It’s not like it hasn’t been done before…

  • old school

    Ah, but Quinn’s bogus claims are different from his customers bogus claims.
    If the Regulator buckles under this, they should just disband the whole office and let the current Governemnt decide which company goes under and which doesn’t.
    Quinns brothers, Peter is also a director in the firm. He addressed the Fianna Fail Forum in Fermanagh last year.
    If Fianna Fail move against the Regulator, it will stink to high heavens.

  • Pete Baker

    old school

    Look again.

    It’s not just one party trying to put pressure on the independent Financial Regulator.

    And it’s not just parties within his jurisdiction.

  • Mack

    The spin coming out of Quinn is that they are covered to 130% of potential liabilities. The regulator demands 150%.

    Quinn are in the wrong, no doubt. But should they be prevented from trading altogether or fined and given a deadline by which to raise finance? I’d have thought the later…

  • Mack

    It’s difficult to see Sean Quinn’s debts as an insurmountable issue either. He incurred the bulk of those debts speculating on shares in Anglo Irish Bank. His firm is profitable (€300 million per year) and, I think, solvent in terms of it’s own natural business debts. It isn’t in the interests of those to whom Sean Quinn owes money to have his -profitable – firm stop trading.

    It might be worth pointing out that as Anglo is nationalised – he predominantly owes money to us, the taxpayer. So we certainly have skin in this game.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Love or hate Sean Quinn, the fact is he has invested massively in remote parts of both north and south and given employment there which would be virtually impossible to replace, maybe a one man economy is not the best way of working but it is probably the only chance these areas will get, tourism and agriculture certainly wont replace all those jobs. Even the UUPs Tom Elliott is calling for the regulator to reconsider the ban on new business in the UK http://www.uup.org/news/economy/economy-archive/meeting-to-discuss-quinn-group-crisis.php and while some get a perverse pleasure in saying “how the mighty have fallen” the bigger picture should be the border towns and villages that will be decimated economically if these jobs go.

  • Mack

    Some interesting speculation over on irisheconomy – that there may have been an attempt to inject the cash-cow of the Quinn group into Anglo. Sarah Carey wonders about the timing –

    http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2010/04/08/anglo-and-quinn/#comments

    I think the issue is the timeline (as Ahura identified)….

    So, you said that the starting point is a wish to stop a wind down of Anglo by injecting Quinn into it. But is this a post-nationalisation government policy or was it a pre-nationalisation Fitz/Drumm saving Anglo policy.

    You see the difference?

    If the sequence begins with Quinn building up the stake via the CFDs. Anglo discovering he couldn’t pay the bill, then loaning him the money to pay it and at the same time arranging the Anglo 10 bailout…..by the time we/Lenihan got our hands on it, the damage was done.

    What I don’t understand, and would love if someone could tell me, is what the options were when Quinn realised he had a huge bill on the CFDs. To whom did owe that money? A stockbroking firm? Anglo? Did Anglo HAVE to lend him the money to save themselves, or to save Quinn? ie, did they have to save Quinn to save themselves or could they have been told (by gov.regulator) to do what they could to save Quinn. What if they didn’t employ the Anglo 10 tactic?

    I think that we have ended up again, in a position where we have no choices, because bad choices were made earlier in the critical path. At which point did someone take the wrong turn?

    I’m in touch with Joan Burton’s office. News next week and I’ll report back here.