January 15, 2021
British Supreme Court judgment on FCA business interruption insurance test case reveals inaction of Central Bank and Government – Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has welcomed today’s judgment by the British Supreme Court in the Financial Conduct Authority’s business interruption test case, and again called on the Central Bank to take similar action to protect policyholders.

The judgment will result in thousands of small businesses having their business interruption claims for Covid-19 paid out, after the FCA decided to take a test case in May 2020. The Central Bank have taken no such action to date.

Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:

“Today’s judgment by the British Supreme Court on Covid-19 business interruption claims will result in thousands of small businesses being paid out for claims made due to Covid-19, providing a financial lifeline for so many.

“The FCA’s action underlines the abject failure of the Government and Central Bank to protect Irish policyholders since this crisis began nearly a year ago.

“The FCA in Britain brought this test case on behalf of policyholders and in the public interest. They decided to do so as far back as May 2020.

“They took this case for 21 different types of policy, ensuring binding results for as many small businesses as possible.

“The Supreme Court ruled that 12 of these types of policy had cover for business interruption as a result of Covid-19, leading to successful claims for thousands of policyholders.

“The Central Bank has taken a different course.

“Small businesses have been hung out to dry, with some left to defend themselves in the Courts.

“I hope that the judgment made by the Supreme Court in Britain will result in a positive outcome in the High Court here for those pub-owners who brought a case against FBD over its refusal to pay out for Covid-19 business interruption.

“The Central Bank must ensure that any positive determination in this case is made binding for all other businesses with the same insurance policy.

“Unlike today’s Supreme Court judgment in Britain, February’s High Court decision concerns only one type of policy.

“The Central Bank must put in place a process, similar to the Tracker Mortgage Examination, so that insurance companies pay out claims to small businesses across all types of policy which provided cover for business interruption as a result of Covid-19.

“This cannot be allowed to drag out in the courts for other small businesses.

I have called on the Central Bank to take such action for nearly a year now.

“A hands-off approach cannot be allowed to continue any longer.”

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