Irish regulator admits prices had to go up

The prices Quinn Insurance was charging within its UK business were too low to meet potential claims, according to Ireland's Financial Regulator.

Matthew Elderfield, speaking at an Irish parliamentary committee today, said that he was only able to reopen Quinn's UK motor insurance business after prices went up.

A new pricing structure has been introduced by Quinn Insurance administrators Grant Thornton.

The administrators have also made proposals to reopen some of Quinn's commercial insurance business, excluding professional indemnity, which are currently being considered by the Irish regulator.

Rival insurers in the UK are believed to have raised concerns with the Financial Services Authority about the rates Quinn Insurance was charging.

Meanwhile, senior officials at Anglo Irish Bank are understood to be working on a revised proposal to take over Quinn Insurance in partnership with a foreign insurer.

The move would ease regulators' fears that the bank - owned by the Irish government - would not be able to fund the deal.

The Quinn Group raised the 'For sale' sign over Quinn Insurance shortly before administrators announced plans to cut 900 jobs.