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S&P; Takes Harder Look at Ratings of Insurance Firms

From Reuters

Standard & Poor’s Corp. disclosed Wednesday that it is taking a closer look at the quality of U.S. life insurance investments, and the industry expects a rash of lower ratings.

American Council of Life Insurance President Richard Schweiker sent out a recent memo to more than 600 of its member life insurers warning that S&P; is moving its rating scale for U.S. life insurers down, a spokesman for the group said.

“There are some important issues on the scene and we are paying more attention to them than we have before,” said Vice President William O’Neill of S&P; Insurance Ratings Service. “Assets are more of an issue than before.”


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