November 15, 2013

Etymologically speaking, an issue is something that flows out of something. Estuaries are where rivers have their issues. Mouths, noses and the external apertures of the defecatory and reproductive systems are where we can expect to find issues of mucus. Ireland, it appears, is where RSA are currently having issues.

More colloquially, the Oxford English Dictionary tells us, the word issue can also denote “an important topic or problem for debate or discussion” and there has certainly been plenty of both debate and discussion in the press recently of certain “issues” identified and eventually reported by RSA within its Irish operation.

The precise nature of the issues at issue remains unclear, but they are reported to be of a ‘financial and claims’ nature. The outcome of these issues, a statement about which RSA issued shortly after the markets closed on Friday last, was a dramatic 17% drop in RSA’s share price in the first 15 mins of trading on Monday reflecting the £70m operating profit hit anticipated in Friday’s statement.

RSA’s Irish CEO, CFO and Claims Czar have all been sent home, suspended on full pay, pending further investigation of the issues uncovered from under their aegises or auspices or wherever it is such things are found. RSA Group CEO Lee Simon insisted that “while these issues are serious, they do not have a material, long term impact on the group.”

Does that sound like a man who’s bothered?

Hardly.

Has that stopped the papers talking about “troubled” RSA this week?

Strangely not.

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