The 5% trap: Solvency II brings more woe for ABS

Risk retention rules threaten to force firms to dump legacy assets

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The change in perception of securitisation in Europe, from source of the problem to part of the solution, has been swift. Unfortunately, the statute books are yet to catch up.

Even as European Union policy-makers work on ways to revive the market in asset-backed securities (ABSs) to boost the region's economy, rules written into Solvency II that form part of the response to the financial crisis threaten to force insurers to dump legacy portfolios.

European insurers already face charges for ABSs