Financial Regulator Matthew Elderfield will have final say on Quinn business plan

THE Financial Regulator will consult its UK counterpart, the Financial Services Authority, before it makes a decision on whether to allow Quinn Insurance resume writing new commercial insurance premiums in Britain.

The joint administrators to Quinn submitted a business plan early last month to the Financial Regulator that would allow it resume taking on new business. While the regulator Matthew Elderfield will have the final say on whether to give the proposals the go-ahead, he will hold discussions with the FSA and brief it on the details first.

Elderfield moved quickly to allow Quinn back into the motor insurance market in the UK once the administrators from Grant Thornton took control of the company but has baulked at allowing a swift return to the commercial market.

Commercial insurance accounted for the bulk of Quinn's €400m premiums in the UK in 2009 and contributed €28m of the €44m losses it made. The Sunday Tribune last month reported that under the business plan submitted by Grant Thornton it would have to increase the premium prices on some lines by as much as 3,000%.

A spokeswoman for the Financial Regulator said the business plan is still being considered by Elderfield.

A group of Quinn supporters, Concerned Irish Businesses, is stepping up its campaign to get the government to provide a bond to Quinn Group to allow him remain in control of the company.

In the last few weeks Concerned Irish Businesses has met with Elderfield and Michael McAteer, one of the joint administrators from Grant Thornton. It will soon meet finance minister Brian Lenihan.

Meanwhile, McAteer confirmed that the first workers at Quinn Insurance have begun to leave as part of a redundancy scheme that will see 900 jobs go in the next year.