Independent Insurance's run-off company Aurora Corporate Services has recently rewarded staff with performance bonuses.

Staff reportedly received bonuses of between £500 and £2,500.

Aurora chief executive Ken Blanc said that the bonuses were "strictly within budget parameters and driven by an appraisal system".

He had commented in the past on the difficulty retaining quality staff in a company that initially had a limited life span.

But Independent's liquidator Pricewater-houseCoopers recently announced plans to sell Aurora as a fully-fledged financial services company.

Blanc said that Aurora was now in detailed discussions with a "less than a handful" of potential buyers.

"We're trying to stick to our original timetable for the sale at the end of the year," he said.