Irish government assures FSA that it will protect customers

Quinn Insurance is pushing ahead with plans for a full re-entry to the UK market.

The Irish Financial Regulator last week gave Quinn the go-ahead for a partial re-entry to the UK after initially banning it over fears about its financial strength.

Quinn is now allowed to write motor insurance cover for holders of provisional driving licences in the UK and Northern Ireland; that business line accounted for about 10% of Quinn’s revenue.

Quinn has already submitted its business plan on opening new lines of UK business for the insurer, and is talking to the Irish Financial Regulator.

The FSA is believed to have reservations about Quinn Insurance making a full return to the UK market, which could be a stumbling block.

About 200 jobs are expected to be cut this week, but that figure could rise to up to 1,000 if Quinn is refused permission to write more lines of business.

“The Financial Regulator has requested further information and analysis from the administrators in relation to their proposed business plans

for the UK market, and will give prompt consideration to proposals backed by robust and detailed information, actuarial analysis and pricing,” the Irish regulator said.

“The initial focus of the administrators was to focus on the UK motor market in its plans to the Financial Regulator. Once further detailed information is provided, the Financial Regulator will examine the directions on the QIL UK business with a view to reopening of certain profitable business lines on a phased basis, in consultation with the UK FSA.”

The Irish government has written to the FSA with an assurance that it will protect Quinn Insurance customers from any funding shortfall that could emerge.

It has also said that Quinn will no longer use certain insurance products as loss leaders to attract business, and could raise prices of some products by up to 20%. The FSA refused to comment.