Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has raised the rating of an arm of a large Midwestern financial services company.

S&P, New York, has increased the counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on Union Central Life Insurance Company, Cincinnati, a unit of UNIFI Mutual Holding Company, Lincoln, Neb., to AA minus, from A plus.

S&P also has affirmed AA minus ratings on several other UNIFI affiliates.

S&P is increasing the Union Central ratings in part because Union Central is now a core member of the UNIFI group, and because UNIFI has a strong competitive position, very strong earnings, and extremely strong operating capital, S&P says.

UNIFI acquired Union Center in January 2006 and completed integrated Union Central’s operations with those of its other operations in 2006, S&P says.

Since UNIFI acquired Union Central, life insurance, annuity, retirement plan and group dental and eye care sales at UNIFI have increased sharply, S&P says.