Oval, Bluefin, Jelf and Brokerbility all stress their support for troubled insurance group

UK brokers today rallied around RSA, stressing their support for the business in the wake of RSA boss Simon Lee quiting amid a third profit warning.

Lee quit after it emerged RSA will need another £135m reserve strengthening, on top of the £70m to repair its troubled Irish business. The insurer has also warned that its dividend is under review.

But Oval chief executive Peter Blanc said the reserve strengthening was a fraction of the insurer’s business and it was still a strong carrier.

Blanc said: “We are absolutely supportive. RSA is a shareholder in Oval. Although it is unfortunate, in the grand scheme of things, it is a small percentage of the balance sheet and not life threatening.”

Bluefin executive chairman Stuart Reid said: “They’ve got our full support at the moment. We keep a close eye on what is going on and have a security committee. We took action on the situation with Groupama, so we always keep checks on what is going on.”

Brokerbility chairman Ashwin Mistry said: “It is a stable carrier and they have our support. One lesson from this is that insurers have to be very careful of the solvency ratio. This, on the back of the QBE announcement, should be a massive wake-up call. And a wake-up call to unrated paper.

“These are two names that are household, so even they can suffer troubles. If they can suffer with their army of analysts, it really makes you wonder whether unrated carriers have the capacity to dodge these bullets.”

Jelf chief Alex Alway said: “We are big supporter of RSA and Adrian Brown – they are a top quality team. Will not change our stance. We need a strong RSA and we hope it is just a period of difficulty.”

 

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