A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating of “a+” of Scotia Insurance (Barbados) Limited (Scotia Re) (Barbados). The outlook for both ratings is stable.
Scotia Re is primarily a life reinsurer that is ultimately owned by The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank). Scotia Re principally reinsures credit insurance policies underwritten by third-party life insurance carriers on consumer loans originated by Canadian, Latin American and Caribbean retail branches of Scotiabank. Scotia Re then retrocedes the Canadian risks to unaffiliated reinsurers and accepts similar non-Canadian risks from those unaffiliated reinsurers. In addition to its credit reinsurance business, Scotia Re also accepts a moderate level of international property/casualty risks.
The rating affirmations reflect Scotia Re’s adequate level of capitalization and geographically diversified revenue and positively trending operating earnings growth. Additionally, the ratings reflect Scotia Re’s growth in premium, both gross and net, and its highly liquid investment portfolio that consists primarily of term bank deposits.
These strengths are partially offset by Scotia Re’s dependence upon consumer loan originations within Canada, and to a lesser degree, Latin America and the Caribbean. Premium growth could decline if consumer loan originations slow in any of these markets impacting Scotia Re’s ability to maintain current levels of reinsurance activity. Declines in economic conditions in Europe also could impact the company’s ability to retrocede assumed risks to its European counterparties. Scotia Re is exposed to a lesser extent to potential earnings and capital volatility from its assumed property/casualty business.
Positive rating actions are unlikely in the near to intermediate term. Factors that could cause negative rating actions include a significant decline in the company’s capitalization or business outlook, a decline in operating performance that impacts its business model, or negative rating actions at Scotiabank. Furthermore, the pending federal budget to be introduced in the Parliament of Canada may reduce certain benefits on reinsurance and negatively impact Scotia Re's business profile.
The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.
A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.
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