The benefits to credit ratings of being an insurer designated a global systemically important insurer (G-SII) by the G-20’s Financial Stability Board (FSB) outweigh the drawbacks, according to a Moody’s Investor Service credit analysis report.
Moody’s disclosed its stamp of approval on the G-SII designations in a late July release of its “Credit Outlook,” which focuses on credit implications of current events.
The G-SIIs include large American companies and some European companies with big U.S. operations, such as American International Group, Inc. (AIG, rated Baa1 stable), Aviva Plc ((P)A3 stable), AXA (A2 negative), MetLife Inc. (A3 negative), Prudential Financial Inc. (Baa1 stable) and the UK’s Prudential Public Limited Company (A2 stable).
The FSB, which made its first round of annual determinations public July 18, recommends that these insurers have additional regulatory oversight related to enhanced group-wide supervision and higher capital requirements. It is up to the home countries to implement the measures, crafted by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).
The requirements would be phased in, beginning in 2015, for the higher loss absorbency capital requirement, including top-quality capital needed to cushion financial activities and products deemed to be nontraditional insurance, such as variable annuities, or not insurance at all, such as derivatives hedging.