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Insurance ratings actions: S&P acts on Westpac Lenders Mortgage Insurance

S&P Global Market Intelligence compiles ratings actions in the insurance space daily through 5 p.m. ET. Actions after 5 p.m. ET will be included in the following day's roundup.

U.S. and Canada

S&P Global Ratings withdrew the A- long-term issuer credit and financial strength ratings on American National Life Insurance Co. of Texas and Standard Life & Accident Insurance Co. at the companies' request.

The outlook on these ratings was stable at the time of withdrawal.

Asia-Pacific

Fitch Ratings affirmed the A+ long-term issuer default rating of Suncorp Group Ltd., while revising the outlook to negative from stable. The agency also affirmed the F1 short-term issuer default rating of Suncorp.

At the same time, Fitch affirmed the A+ long-term issuer default rating and AA- insurer financial strength rating on Suncorp's main nonlife insurance operating subsidiary, AAI Ltd. The outlooks were revised to negative from stable.

The negative outlook reflects uncertainty and increased risk to capital and earnings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as potential earnings pressure from weaker bank performance and insurance business performance on the back of weaker economic conditions, in case the pandemic is prolonged or intensifies.

The affirmations mirror Suncorp's favorable business profile compared with its Australian peers, its very strong capitalization and leverage, as well as strong financial performance and earnings.

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S&P Global Ratings revised its outlook on Westpac Life-NZ-Ltd. to negative from stable and affirmed the A+ financial strength and issuer credit ratings on the company.

The outlook revision follows a change in outlook on the company's parent, Westpac Banking Corp., reflecting a similar action on Australia's sovereign outlook over fiscal and economic risks that the country is facing amid the pandemic.

The ratings reflect the agency's expectation of indirect extraordinary Australian government support to the insurer in the time of need from parent Westpac Banking as a strategically important subsidiary of the group.

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S&P Global Ratings revised its outlook on Westpac Lenders Mortgage Insurance Ltd. to negative from stable and affirmed the AA- financial strength and issuer credit ratings on the company.

The outlook was modified subsequent to a change in outlook to negative from stable on the company's parent, Westpac Banking Corp., reflecting a similar action on Australia's sovereign outlook over fiscal and economic risks that the country is facing amid the pandemic.

The ratings on Westpac Lenders reflect its position as the captive lenders' mortgage insurance provider for Westpac and the agency's expectation that the entity will benefit from extraordinary support from the group if required.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings.

Links are current as of publication time; S&P Global Market Intelligence is not responsible if those links are unavailable later.