November 10, 2013 / 6:54 PM / 6 years ago

RSA launches independent review of Irish unit

DUBLIN (Reuters) - RSA Insurance has commissioned an independent review of its financial and regulatory reporting processes and controls after it suspended three senior executives at its Irish unit, it said on Sunday.

Ireland’s central bank and RSA are investigating a potential regulatory issue after the insurer suspended the Irish unit’s Chief Executive Philip Smith, Chief Financial Officer Rory O’Connor and claims director Peter Burke.

RSA has said it suspended the trio over “issues in the Irish claims and finance functions” identified in a routine internal audit, but neither the company nor Ireland’s central bank has given details of the problems.

RSA said it had appointed auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers to undertake a comprehensive review focusing on financial and regulatory reporting processes and controls within the Irish unit and group oversight and controls. It will also assess the adequacy of the remedial actions being taken and is expected to report back by the end of the year.

“While the investigation is ongoing, I am confident that these issues are isolated to the Irish business,” RSA Chief Executive Simon Lee said.

“No policyholders have been affected and all our Irish businesses continue to operate as normal. Nevertheless, we want to ensure that the actions being taken in Ireland and across the group are correct and that all lessons are learnt.”

RSA is Ireland’s top insurer, offering home, motor and commercial coverage.

The company has injected capital into RSA Insurance Ireland to ensure its solvency ratio was comfortably in excess of 200 percent, the benchmark ratio set by Ireland’s central bank.

Lee said while the problems are serious, they do not have a material long-term impact on the company.

“Our capital position remains robust and we remain committed to our dividend policy which is aligned with market expectations for the full year final 2013 dividend,” he said.

Reporting by Sam Cage; Editing by Alistair Lyon

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