Lessons from Japan for Europe's life firms

Insurance failures at the end of the 1990s show how not to survive low rates

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The story of the Japanese insurance market at the turn of the century gives an insight into what worked for firms and, crucially, what did not when faced with persistently low interest rates. It is a story that is becoming worryingly relevant in Europe.

Following its stress test in November, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (Eiopa) warned that capital at one in four European insurers would fall below regulatory minimums in a Japanese-like prolonged low interest rate sce

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