‘Catalogue of failures’ resulted in €1.65bn Insurance Compensation Bill - Doherty

Speaking during an Oireachtas Finance Committee meeting on the potential €1.65bn call on the Insurance Compensation Fund following the sale of Quinn Insurance Ltd. to Liberty Mutual last year

Speaking during an Oireachtas Finance Committee meeting on the potential €1.65bn call on the Insurance Compensation Fund following the sale of Quinn Insurance Ltd. to Liberty Mutual last year

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said “a catalogue of failures involving the Minister for Finance, the Department of Finance, the Central Bank and the administrators has resulted in a potential bill of €1.65bn arising from the sale of Quinn Insurance Limited to Liberty Mutual last year.”

He was speaking during an Oireachtas Finance Committee meeting.

Deputy Doherty said: “Last September Minister Noonan rushed legislation through the Dáil to amend the Insurance Compensation Fund. At that time I warned that he was being reckless and the outcome would be bad.

“It was clear then that the Government were under pressure from Liberty Mutual and IBRC to pass the legislation in advance of their High Court appearance to conclude the sale of the company.

“In proposing the legislation on the Compensation Fund, Minister Noonan said he was ‘satisfied that the appropriate systems and processes were sufficiently robust to ensure that the call upon the fund is kept to an absolute minimum.’ He estimated that the cost to the Fund would be in the region of €700m.

“He was wrong on both counts. What ensued was a catalogue of failures involving the Minister for Finance, the Department of Finance, the Central Bank and the administrators and has resulted in a potential bill of €1.65bn arising from the sale of Quinn Insurance Limited to Liberty Mutual last year.

“The Minister and his Department failed to provide adequate oversight. The Central Bank failed in their regulatory capacity. And the regulators who initially told the High Court that there would be no call on the Insurance Compensation Fund clearly failed to provide an accurate assessment of the level of risk involved.

“As a result, ordinary insurance policy holders will end up paying up to €1.65bn. While the primary responsibility for this mess lies with the Minister for Finance, none of those bodies involved can claim to be blame free.”