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Dublin: 6°C Tuesday 25 January 2022

'They have a handle on it': Noonan plays down fears over RSA Insurance

“The Central Bank are happy now that they have a full handle on it,” Michael Noonan has told the Dáil this morning.

Michael Noonan in the Dáil this morning
Michael Noonan in the Dáil this morning
Image: Screengrabs via Oireachtas TV

FINANCE MINISTER MICHAEL Noonan has insisted that RSA will meet any further shortfall in its capital requirements following recent problems at the insurance firm.

Noonan was responding to questions in the Dáil about the problems that have arisen at RSA as well as other issues connected to his portfolio.

Earlier this month the insurance firm, which operates 123.ie, suspended three executives pending the outcome of an investigation into issues with their claims and finance operations.

The UK parent of RSA has had to inject €100 million of capital into the company following the discovery of a shortfall as part of a routine audit.

“The RSA brought the findings of the internal audit to the attention of Central Bank, then the RSA group took action,” Noonan told the Dáil, saying the insurance firm “acted very expeditiously”.

He said that any obligation for further funding will be handled by the company, not the Central Bank and said that as a result of the capital injection its solvency ratio is now 208 per cent, in excess of regulatory requirements.


He said that the RSA has assured the Central Bank that it will provide any further capital required should it be deemed necessary after its internal investigation.

“The Central Bank are happy now that they have a full handle on it,” he said.

Separately, the Minister said that he continues to raise the issue of retroactive recapitalisation of Ireland’s banking sector when appropriate, but said “it’s a long process” which is part of the main process of achieving banking union in the eurozone.

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty said that there had been a “missed opportunity” for the government to get a deal on its banking debt.

But Noonan said that he “always raises the retroactive issue” when it’s on the agenda of meetings with European finance ministers.

“Meetings of the Eurogroup and EcoFin are run in an orderly fashion,” he said, adding “you don’t get up and shout and roar”.

On the mortgage arrears issue, Noonan said that there is a “clear responsibility of financial institutions to do more” and said that letters which threaten homeowners with legal action can “not be a sustainable solution”.

Read: PWC brought in to investigate RSA claims and finance

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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