Rating agency Standard and Poor (S&P) has provided Lloyd’s with a further endorsement, reaffirming its A+ rating with a stable outlook in the insurance market.
S&P has highlighted Lloyd’s record 2009 operating performance, healthy capitalisation and good financial flexibility as factors contributing to its strong rating. In addition, its Enterprise Risk Management assessment has improved to Adequate with Strong Risk Controls.
The rating agency cites a number of attributes for the Lloyd’s market that justify its rating, including its good competitive position supported by its unique brand that is recognised across the world and which has engendered strong customer loyalty, among others.
S&P said Lloyd’s attractiveness as a place to do business was demonstrated by the continual flow of new entrants into the market in recent years. Lloyd’s had also worked hard to improve its systems and processes to ensure it is the first-choice platform for many players.
The rating agency also pays tribute to the market’s financial strength along with its varied business profile. “Lloyd’s capitalization is strong, supported by what we consider to be very strong capital adequacy, strong quality of capital, Lloyd’s much diminished exposure to legacy issues, and the efficacy of the capital-setting processes, S&P states in its report. The diversity of Lloyd’s capital providers represents a unique strength for the market.”
Lloyd’s central assets of £2.8 billion at the end of 2009 are £1 billion more than its minimum solvency target, S&P notes, but adds it does not expect Lloyd’s to reduce the amount of the Central Fund or contributions to it in the short term.
Lloyd’s Director of Finance, Risk Management and Operations, Luke Savage said, “We are very pleased that S&P has chosen to reaffirm Lloyd’s A+ rating, which is testament to the market’s unique strengths. The market’s focus on maintaining high standards of underwriting discipline and risk management has helped Lloyd’s to successfully navigate a clear path through unprecedented turbulence in the financial markets and a weakening insurance cycle.”
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