A friendly helping hand

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When Reliance Mutual, a £1.2 billion life company, stepped in to rescue Hearts of Oak, a much smaller operation with just £346 million in assets, it was regarded as something of a white knight. Here was an insurance outfit with an enviable capital position - representing 320% of the group's total capital requirements, according to 2005 company accounts - prepared to step in and bail out a firm that was £5.5 million below its legal minimum solvency requirement, as mandated by the Financial Se

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