“a significant shift in the position of the Quinn Group.”

The Irish Financial Regulator defended his action against the Insurance arm of the Quinn Group before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Economic Regulatory Affairs yesterday, as an Irish Times report notes

Mr Elderfield said he remained “open to dialogue” to address the solvency deficit at Quinn Insurance. Two other insurers had recently breached the 150 per cent solvency rule on how much firms must hold in reserve to protect policyholders, he said, and they increased reserves “within days”. Another two insurers breached solvency rules by a greater amount and were placed in administration. Mr Elderfield said this showed the regulator’s approach at Quinn was “completely consistent”. Senator Diarmuid Wilson, for Cavan-Monaghan, criticised Mr Elderfield’s actions, saying he had been “heavy-handed” and “acted with haste” against Quinn. Mr Elderfield rejected this, saying Quinn had persistently broken “long-standing” solvency rules.

Today, RTÉ reports that the Quinn Group are to withdraw their objection to the permanent appointment of administrators to Quinn Insurance. See also BBC report. Update The High Court has appointed permanent administrators to Quinn Insurance. From the updated RTÉ report

In a statement, Jim Quigley, Chairman of Quinn Insurace Ltd, said:’This decision has been taken after very careful consideration. ‘We have concluded that, given what has happened, it is in the best interests of the Company, our employees and policyholders that, as a matter of urgency, we work closely with the Administrators and the Financial Regulator to get the situation resolved as quickly as possible.’

  • George

    No surprise here. The regulator simply wants Quinn to flash the cash he has implied he can front up.

    Quinn obviously can’t (even though he let on it was only 150 million) so instead of waiting until next week to lose in court, he’s given up today.

    We now have one answer – Quinn doesn’t have the cash and it’s a lot more than 150 million. That leaves a few other questions:

    – Will this be the start of the whole Quinn empire unraveling, leading to massive job losses across the border counties?

    – Will it be confined to the Quinn Insurance and if so how many jobs will go?

    – What does this mean for the debts owed to Anglo Irish?

    At least we have an end to all this Quinn bluster.

  • old school

    Hope he paid the travelling expenses of all those poor saps who marched in Dublin in his defence last week.
    If the firm is sold to a reputable buyer, the jobs may be saved. It they stay under Quins control there’ll be mass layoffs.
    “It’s only when the tide is out, do we see who has been swimming in the nude.”

  • Why isn’t the Quinn group brought into public ownership both north and south – the jobs saved and we can get started on building much needed social housing on both sides of the border!
    Thats what joe higgins is calling for.