“While it does not appear to go in substance into several of the very serious concerns…”

Those interfering, and electioneering, ‘foreigners’ brought the Quinn Group’s campaign to the floor of the Northern Ireland Assembly today. More significantly, a last minute affidavit from the Quinn Group has prompted a week-long postponement of the Irish Financial Regulator’s action to put Quinn Insurance into full administration. From the BBC report

John Hennessy, senior counsel for the regulator, said officials had received a lengthy affidavit from the company this morning. “While it does not appear to go in substance into several of the very serious concerns of the regulator in this matter, it nevertheless merits careful consideration by the regulator and a response,” the lawyer said.

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  • Munsterview

    There is every credit due to Quinn for the business empire that he has build up and what he has achieved. Few individuals, if any. have personally created as many well paid jobs on the Island of Ireland and in that regard he deserves respect and gratitude.

    From a generation on the Nationalist side that by in large was content with Gombeenism, he has shown just what can be done with a different approach.

    However all the characteristics and drive that he used to build his empire also has a down side, there is often a fine line between the courage to take a risk with capital and just taking a instinctive chance. That line has to be frequently crossed by all Business Empire Builders and the problems arise especially in market downturns when what otherwise would be a daring chance now becomes a reckless gambol. Unfortunately there is no rule book to guide, as one of the meanings of the old ‘sean fhocal’ has it ta an aisce san gaisce’……. the result is in the deed and by then the die is irrevocably cast!

    Of course there cannot be unbridled capitalism, such things are in conflict with the public good. With an area like Insurance there must always be adequate financial reserves and these reserves must be sufficient to cater for a worst case senario. Accordingly these reserves must also be ring fenced. Market regulation is there, or should be there to ensure that the Public Good is served and that vital necessity like these are met and protected.

    So far in the Financial Regulator V Quinn clash from what appeared in the public domain, the Regulator’s concerns are seemingly justified and the gap in financial reserves between what Quinn Insurance states is needed and the multiple of four or five times this figure the Regulator says is necessary, is so great that it can and must be resolved in a Superior Court Hearing. Since public issues are involved, the public has a right to know.

    In a worst case senario at least it appears the Insurance business is financially healthy and can be sold as a going concern. That may be a disaster for the Quinn group and thousands of jobs but if it saves a Private Motorists Protection Association insurance replay with a financial burden placed on hundreds of thousands of already hard pressed ordinary taxpayers, it must be done irrespective of the consequences to the Quinn group or Quinn employees.