Danny Walkinshaw explores the week on the web.
The firm hand of the regulators attracted visitors to Insurancetimes.co.uk this week after the Irish regulator and the FSA both stamped their authority on the market.
The most popular story on the website was about Sean Quinn, owner and chairman of Quinn Insurance. He resigned from his board after his firm was fined €3.25m (£2.6m) by the Irish Financial Regulator over breaches of regulatory requirements relating to €288m of loans it gave to a related company in May. Quinn, one of Ireland’s richest men, will be replaced as chairman by Jim Quigley.
Quinn Insurance has been a name on the lips of brokers and insurers since it began trading in the UK from a base in Manchester in 2003. The story received plenty of online coverage, particularly in the company’s native Ireland, where Irishtimes.com said of the loan: “The cash was used by the Quinn family to cover falling stock market investments and finance share-buying in Anglo Irish Bank. Mr Quinn and his family own almost 15% of Anglo Irish, the state’s third-largest public bank.”
Quinn also confirmed that it would stop writing new business at its European bases in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, as reported by Insurance Times last week.
The news on Quinn followed the FSA’s statement that it had banned Neil McKay of Ideal Insurance Services in Chorley, Lancashire, after finding that he cancelled contracts of insurance without customers’ knowledge or approval and failed to pass premium payments from customers on to other intermediaries or insurers as required.
Stories about the regulator’s tough stance – it has also slapped fines on Hastings and LV in recent months – are popular among users of Insurancetimes.co.uk.
A week could not go by without AIG making the “most read” list. Last week it was the Insurance Times story about the US giant “cancelling Christmas” that hit the spot with readers and, no doubt, AIG employees. The Insurancetimes.co.uk online analysis, Seasonal fear, was also popular.
Other stories from Insurance Times made the list, including the plan by global broker Marsh to bring together 200 of its major clients for a credit crunch summit.
The news that Keith Rutter, a popular London market figure, is moving to AmTrust, revealed exclusively by Insurancetimes.co.uk, was the fifth most popular item on the website.
Finally, Aviva’s results have made headlines around the world. Andrew Moss, chief executive of Aviva, told Bloomberg.com: “Our capital position is very strong and we have given ourselves extra protection against equity market falls.”
The most read stories this week on Insurancetimes.co.uk:
1. Quinn boss steps down
Sean Quinn resigns after being hit with â‚¬3.25m fine by Irish regulator.
2. FSA bans broker
Neil McKay of Ideal Insurance Services in Chorley failed to arrange cover.
3. AIG cancels Christmas
US insurance giant calls off all seasonal celebrations.
4. Marsh gathers 200 clients for credit crunch summit
Ratings agencies will be asked to explain what went wrong at City event.
5. Rutter quits Lockton for AmTrust
Popular executive joins US insurer planning to expand in the UK.