AM Best Information Services

FEBRUARY 19, 2021 11:47 AM (EST)

AM Best Withdraws Credit Ratings of NCB Insurance Company Limited

 Louis Silvers
Senior Financial Analyst
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5802

Anthony McSwieney
Senior Financial Analyst
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5715

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159

Jim Peavy
Director, Communications
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644


OLDWICK - FEBRUARY 19, 2021 11:47 AM (EST)
AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B (Fair) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “bb” of NCB Insurance Company Limited (NCB) (Jamaica). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is negative. Concurrently, AM Best has withdrawn the ratings as the company has requested to no longer participate in AM Best’s interactive rating process.

The ratings reflect NCB’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorizes as adequate, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).

In 2020, subsequent to the acquisition of Guardian Holdings Limited (GHL), NCB Financial Group Limited (NCBFG) streamlined its insurance business that had been offered by its competing subsidiaries — NCB and Guardian Life Limited (GLL) — and transferred 100% of NCB’s insurance liabilities to GLL.

The company’s balance sheet strength reflects its high concentration of sovereign debt and long-duration instruments, offset by the absence of financial leverage. NCB no longer holds interest sensitive liabilities. In addition, a majority of NCB’s invested asset portfolio is composed of Jamaica government bonds.

The company’s historical trends of strong operating performance is driven by the high yields associated with the company’s fixed income portfolio and resulting investment income. In the past, this was complemented by underwriting profit derived from its insurance businesses.

In September 2020, AM Best revised NCB’s outlook to negative, reflecting AM Best’s concerns regarding global economic conditions and the negative impacts to territories in the Caribbean. Regional territories in the Caribbean are impacted materially by tourism, energy and agricultural factors, which are being affected in the short term by global conditions. The driver of the negative outlooks was centered in AM Best’s concerns about volatility in the operating performance metrics of these insurers in the short term.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City.

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