Ireland's largest insurer RSA records a loss of €177m

Financial irregularities have hurt the firm

The country’s largest general insurer, RSA made a loss of close to €177m here last year, due to a combination of exceptional costs arising from accounting irregularities; deficits in its pension scheme; redundancy costs and a weaker trading performance in its core insurance activities.

RSA’s Irish division, which suffered the loss of three senior executives over the past two years and which is appealing an employment appeals tribunal award to former chief executive Philip Smith, incurred exceptional costs of close to €50m arising from irregularities in its claims and finance functions, originally identified in 2013.

Since then, the company’s British parent has had to pump €400m in additional capital into RSA Ireland, and the latest accounts indicate that more capital may be required ahead of stringent new EU requirements which will be introduced in January.

The directors note that they are working closely with the RSA Group to identify the most effective means of addressing the capital shortfall before the transition to the so-called Solvency 2 rules.

Pay for directors including pension contributions fell from €1.4m to €1.37m.

"The company carried out a comprehensive business review during the year which benefited from input from a wide range of stakeholders across the business," the company said, adding, "The output was a bottom-up portfolio led operational plan for the three years 2015 to 2017."