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Fitch upgrades Southsure outlook

Fitch has upgraded its outlook on New Zealand group Southsure Assurance to positive from stable, and affirmed its BBB+ insurer financial strength rating.

The revision brings the outlook in line with its parent Southland Building Society (SBS).

Fitch says the affirmation reflects “the operational synergies [Southsure] receives from being part of a larger financial institution.

“Fitch believes SBS, which trades as SBS Bank, would be willing to provide support to Southsure if needed, because Southsure provides complementary insurance products to SBS’ customers,” the ratings agency says.

“The relationship provides Southsure with access to strong distribution channels and a valuable customer base.”

The outlook also takes into account Southsure’s financial results for the year to March 31, in which pre-tax return on assets grew 17.5%.

Southsure’s regulatory solvency ratio stood at 124.5% as of September 30.

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