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Fitch: Brexit weighs on US life insurers' credit development

Fitch Ratings said the U.K.'s decision to leave the EuropeanUnion is a negative credit development for U.S. life insurers.

The rating agency expects the development to result in an increasedglobal economic uncertainty that could delay further interest rate hikes in theU.S. That could pressure U.S. life insurers' earnings growth but not theirstatutory capital. Ratings of U.S. life insurers that have equity exposuresalso could drop amid a more volatile financial market.

There will be no impact on ratings should the financialperformance of U.S. life insurers' U.K. and EU subsidiaries deteriorate, asU.S. life insurers have limited material direct exposure to the insurancemarkets in the U.K. and EU. However, U.S. life insurers that are wholly ownedby European insurers are more likely to get a downgrade in an adverse Brexitvote scenario, according to the rating agency.