Regulator to scrutinise group’s business case pending High Court decision

The Irish regulator is considering a business plan from Quinn that would allow it back into profitable parts of the UK market.

An approval from the Irish regulator could see Quinn returning to Britain, as the group submitted its business case to be heard in the High Court in Dublin on Monday.

A Quinn statement said: “The Irish legal process of administration differs from that of the UK.

“No company that has gone into administration in the Republic of Ireland since the process was introduced in 1983 has gone into liquidation.

“A formal business plan to re-enter profitable segments of the UK market has been drafted and it is currently being considered by the Irish regulator.”

Meanwhile, speculation is mounting that insurers are lining up to snap up books of business if Quinn is placed into administration.

Aviva, which has a large business in Ireland, RSA, AXA and Dutch insurance giant Eureko have all been touted as potential buyers.

However, insurers including Zurich, Allianz and LV= are all extremely unlikely to make a play for the business.

Industry sources believe the book has been so badly underpriced that it would probably need fresh capitalisation. One source said: “It is not really an attractive option. No one knows what is in the account and what reserves are in the account. I can’t see what there is to buy.”

All potential buyers will have a close eye on what happens in court on Monday.

Last Monday, the High Court, upon receiving fresh information from Quinn, adjourned a decision over official administration for another seven days.

Quinn this week moved to reassure brokers that, whatever happens in the background, it is still operating as a fully functioning insurer.

A Quinn spokesman said: “Existing UK policyholders are unaffected by the company’s status, and all claims on policies are being processed as usual.

“Mid-term changes to existing clients’ policies will be processed in the normal fashion, and staff are available to speak with, should any broker seek clarification.”