As Wilkins Micawber never tired of emphasising, the difference between solvency and insolvency can have a very significant influence on mood.

On which basis, unrated Danish insurer Alpha may currently be feeling in need of: some quietly convivial quality time with low-pressure social acquaintances, a gently crackling open fire, and perhaps the odd candle or two.

Wont, as they may be to clock off mid afternoon and cop off for some wholesome family fun with their jersey-clad, country-music-loving spouses and bairns, Danish regulators are singularly averse to having the metaphorical wool drawn across their organs of ocular perception.

In consequence of which – prior to rejoining their familiar bosoms for banjo practice accompanied by lashings of pickled herring and a few hearty slugs of Gammel Dansk – said regulators have ‘slapped’ the aforementioned Alpha with an order requiring them to ‘develop a recovery plan’.

Why have they done this? Why, because Alpha have been deemed to have significantly overstated the value of various monies supposedly owed to them and are hence very likely to find themselves unable to meet their capital solvency requirements.

Separately, as they say, but by no means irrelevantly, the Central New Zealand bank has ordered CBL Insurance not to pay €25m in reinsurance claims to Alpha and are seeking to put CBL into liquidation.

All of which should make life more interesting than strictly necessary for Alpha ‘going forward’. But if they’re going to recover anywhere, surely Denmark is the place to do it.

In the meantime UK-based businesses who’ve rashly formed associations with unrated Alpha will doubtless be keeping a wary eye out for further… wait… what’s that, liquidation you say?

Well who could have seen that coming!


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