A.M. Best does not expect to take rating actions in the near term as a direct consequence of the decision by United Kingdom (UK) voters to leave the European Union (EU). In a referendum held on 23 June 2016, 51.9% voted to relinquish EU membership.
The implications for the financial strength of insurers with regard to subsequent investment market volatility, currency fluctuations and increased economic uncertainty will be closely monitored. Also, as the terms of the exit are negotiated, A.M. Best will discuss with rated companies what prospective changes will mean for their competitive positions and ability to continue to access business in the UK and the EU.
The decision has led to a sharp drop in sterling and global equity markets. A.M. Best notes that the financial market volatility could have a material impact on insurers’ half-year results and balance sheets, with most companies reporting their positions as at 30 June 2016. Solvency II’s market-consistent approach to valuing the economic balance sheet means that financial market volatility will be closely reflected in European insurers’ reported solvency capital ratios. A.M. Best will discuss the implications of this with rated entities, but will continue to incorporate a prospective view when assessing insurers’ financial strength.
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European Union Disclosures
A.M. Best – Europe Rating Services Limited (AMBERS), a subsidiary of A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc., is an External Credit Assessment Institution (ECAI) in the European Union (EU). Therefore, credit ratings issued and endorsed by AMBERS may be used for regulatory purposes in the EU as per Directive 2006/48/EC.
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