Belfast Telegraph

Quinn Insurance administrators move to calm fears over job losses

The administrators of insurance giant Quinn have moved to calm fears of impending job losses, saying they envisage job numbers will stay at their current level.

The comments come as the sales process for Quinn Insurance Limited (QIL) reaches its final stage, with a deal expected to be struck by the end of the month.

Bidders for Quinn Insurance, founded by Fermanagh tycoon Sean Quinn, are believed to include a proposal from Anglo Irish Bank and US insurance giant Liberty Mutual, and a bid from UK-based Travelers Insurance.

Matthew Elderfield, the Republic's Financial Regulator, put the firm into administration last year over concerns about its liabilities. The firm employs around 500 people in Co Fermanagh.

Presenting a regular update to the High Court yesterday, lawyers for the administrators of Quinn Insurance said it was envisaged that the insurer's staff would shrink from 2,454 pre-administration to 1,628.

Those cuts have already been achieved through a voluntary redundancy programme announced last May coupled with natural attrition.

On the same day, the administrators sent an e-mail to all QIL's staff stressing that the three key objectives of the insurer's sale included "preserving the maximum number of jobs" and keeping business open in all regions.

Staff had been fearing QIL's UK and Northern Ireland division would be closed after the sale, triggering up to 1,000 job losses.

"Although I cannot guarantee today that we will achieve those objectives let me be very clear - the alternative situation in which a sale does not proceed, is not something anybody would wish to consider," the administrator's note added.