Irish central bank probes RSA regulatory issue

Reuters

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland's central bank is investigating a potential regulatory issue after RSA Insurance (LSE:RSA) suspended the chief executive and two other senior managers of its Irish business, it said on Saturday.

The insurer has suspended the Irish unit's Chief Executive Philip Smith, Chief Financial Officer Rory O'Connor and claims director Peter Burke while it investigates issues in its claims and finance functions.

RSA said no findings had been made against any individuals at this time, but as a result of these issues it estimated that the group's 2013 operating result would be 70 million pounds ($112 million) lower than current market expectations.

Ireland's central bank confirmed RSA had reported a regulatory issue and it was in close and regular dialogue with the insurer. It said it had started an investigation into the matter.

RSA is Ireland's top insurer, offering home, motor and commercial coverage. A spokesman said the RSA Insurance Ireland executives were not available to comment.

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.

The company said the issues identified in the audit were distinct from the need to increase reserves, in response to increased bodily injury claim trends, that was announced in its trading statement on November 5.

(Reporting by Sam Cage; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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