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Irish central bank appoints provisional administrator for CBL Insurance Europe

Kieran Wallace of audit firm KPMG was appointed provisional administrator for CBL Corp. Ltd. unit CBL Insurance Europe dac to "assist in the maintenance, in the public interest, of the proper and orderly regulation and conduct of insurance business," the Central Bank of Ireland said.

The move comes after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand requested that CBL Corp. unit CBL Insurance Ltd. be placed into interim liquidation. CBL Insurance was a major reinsurer to CBL Insurance Europe, the Irish central bank noted.

In applying to the High Court for the appointment, central bank Deputy Governor Ed Sibley cited the insurer's failure to make adequate provisions for its debts; said the insurer conducted its business in such a way as to "jeopardize or prejudice" the interests of policyholders; and said it was unable to comply with regulatory requirements in a material respect. The central bank said that had it not taken such action, it risked allowing a "disorderly failure" of CBL Insurance Europe.

The central bank told policyholders to contact the insurer directly or through their brokers to secure alternative cover.

Earlier, New Zealand's stock exchange suspended CBL Corp.'s shares from trading. Local and overseas regulators have also questioned the adequacy of the company's reserves for its French construction insurance business, which CBL has since decided to exit.