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Report: German finance ministry wants guaranteed life insurance returns reduced

Germany's Finance Ministry is looking to cut the maximuminterest rate that life insurers can guarantee customers to 0.9% from 1.25%,Reuters reported May 2, citing a German government source.

The new limit is to take effect from Jan. 1, 2017.

The ministry said in October 2015 that it to scrap the limit as it will beregulated under Solvency II, but said in December 2015 that it wanted to retainit until at least the end of 2018. The maximum interest rate is meant toprevent companies from outbidding each other.

The finance ministry intends to hear from insurance expertsand industry representatives regarding the contemplated rate cut, while theGerman Insurance Association termed the limit as "excessive," accordingto the Reuters report.