Gildernew responds to allegations that Quinn Insurance was too cheap
Speaking today, Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew, has reacted angrily to revelations by the Irish Financial Regulator that he was only able to reopen Quinn's motor insurance lines in Britain and the north once administrators put the price of cover up.
Ms Gildernew said:
"This revelation is a slap in the face for all those who work so hard throughout Quinn Insurance to make it a highly profitable and competitive business. The workforce in Quinn Insurance is highly skilled, well paid and highly motivated; the employees are amongst the key factors in the success of the company over the last number of years.
"When the initial trading restrictions were placed on Quinn Insurance, the Financial Regulator clearly stated that it was due to breaches of solvency rules, but this latest announcement will further call into question the actions of the regulator. I fully understand that the regulator needs to be completely independent, but that does not mean that he cannot be held to account and that his actions can not be questioned.
"The fact that insurance companies in Britain have long complained that the prices being set by Quinn Insurance are too low is a disgrace. Instead of trying to compete by offering similarly attractive prices, they are content to charge extortionate premiums and lobby the FSA for restrictions to be placed on Quinn Insurance.
"Having spoken with numerous Quinn workers over the last week or so, it is clear that the new pricing structure is no longer as competitive in Britain and the north as it once was. Due to the hefty price increases, the company is finding it more difficult to attract new business or even to get customers to renew their existing policies, with some being quoted twice what they paid last year. This is detrimental not only for Quinn Insurance but also for consumers as a whole."