Sean Quinn steps down from Quinn Insurance
Friday, 24 October 2008 14:59
Cement to insurance businessman Sean Quinn is standing down as a director and chairman of Quinn Insurance following breaches of regulatory requirements and an investigation by the Financial Regulator.
The regulator has fined Quinn Insurance €3.25m - the biggest penalty of its kind. Mr Quinn is to pay €200,000 to the regulator.
In a statement, the regulator said it had ‘reasonable cause to suspect that breaches of the regulatory requirements occurred in relation to Quinn Insurance.’
It said the breaches related to failure to notify the financial regulator prior to providing loans to related companies.
RTE News understands the key issue is a loan of €288m which was extended from the insurance company to another related company.
This money was used to part finance the purchase of shares in Anglo Irish Bank during the summer when Sean Quinn and his family purchased 15% of the bank.
At the time, that stake was worth €715m based on Anglo’s share price of €6.28 - today those shares were trading at €1.63.
James Quigley has been named as the company’s new chairman.
Quinn Insurance has confirmed that no consequences have arisen for any of the firm’s policyholders as a result of the suspected breaches.
In a statement issued in tandem with its results, Quinn Insurance said it advanced funds that supported investments made outside the group during 2008 and at May this year the loans amounted to €288m.
‘These loans breached insurance regulations and as a result of this the Financial Regulator has sanctioned Quinn Insurance and myself. I accept complete responsibility for this breach of regulation,’ Sean Quinn said in the statement.
‘While I accept that I made mistakes, I feel that the levels of fines do not reflect the fact that there was no risk to policyholders or the taxpayer but are a result of the pressures existing in the current environment. However we will pay the fines and move on,’ he added.
‘Whilst I will continue as Chairman of Quinn Group, given the experience and capability of the existing management team, I will be able to spend more time on family assets outside the Group particularly our property portfolio, which is now active in 10 countries,’ he added.