Irish regulator says Quinn doesn't have the money for a re-entry

Quinn Insurance has been barred from re-entering UK commercial lines business by the Irish regulator.

The Central Bank and Financial Regulator closely looked at the proposals by Quinn’s administrators to re-enter the UK commercial lines, but knocked back the bid over concerns that Quinn couldn’t raise the extra money needed to support the move.

The decision means Quinn is left with its UK private motor business and general insurance business in Ireland.

The Central Bank and Financial Regulator did leave the door open for Quinn to re-enter the commercial market, but only if it beefs up its capital and returns to standard solvency margins.

A Quinn spokesman said the decision would not affect the sale process, which has between 20 and 30 parties interested, led by US insurance giant Liberty.

A spokesman said: "QIL however confirms that despite this outcome, and due to the strong underlying performance of other divisions within QIL, those employees working on UK commercial insurance will be redeployed into other areas and that there will be no further job losses as a result of this decision.

"Furthermore this decision will not impact the sale of Quinn Insurnace Limited."

Last week Quinn Insurnace revealed it had racked up £658m losses last year, through a combination of guarantees to the other parts of the Quinn group and operating losses.

A statement from Irish regulator said: “The Central Bank and Financial Regulator has concluded its detailed review of proposals by the administrators of QIL to recommence writing commercial insurance in the United Kingdom. It has determined that QIL would require additional capital in order to recommence writing business in that market. This capital is currently unavailable to QIL. As a consequence, the Central Bank and Financial Regulator is not in a position to modify its direction in order to allow QIL write commercial insurance in the UK. Should the company obtain sufficient capital and return to required solvency levels in the future, consideration may be given to reviewing this decision. The administrators have been informed of this decision as have the Financial Services Authority in the UK.

“This decision does not affect QIL’s authorisation to write UK private motor insurance or general insurance business in Ireland, and its settlement of claims on extant UK commercial business will continue unaffected.”