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Group Defends Life Settlements

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The European Life Settlement Association has issued a statement criticizing media reports comparing the subprime mortgage disaster to investments in life insurance settlements.

Such comparisons are inaccurate because mortgage-backed securities in the credit crisis were mispriced compared to the high level of market risk, ELSA said, while life insurance policies have no correlation to such risks.

“Reports have suggested that credit reference agencies have been inundated with requests to review various life insurance based packaged securities, yet the major banks remain tight-lipped,” ELSA stated.

“Life settlements are subject to little to no market risk as the return is dependent on the life insurance policy maturing on the policyholder’s death,” ELSA said. “The volatile performance from equities and other traditional assets has made non-correlation highly desirable for portfolio diversification for investors-especially pension funds-burnt by poor investment performance in the financial crisis.”

ELSA, headquartered in London, was established in May.