RALEIGH, N.C., June 27 /U.S. Newswire/ -- GE Mortgage Insurance today released the following statement in response to the decision by Standard and Poor's to put GE Mortgage Insurance on CreditWatch:
S&P made its decision despite the fact that our capital position has never been stronger.
The S&P action is based on a change in S&P's rating methodology, not on any change in the financial condition of GE Mortgage Insurance. S&P noted that changes within its rating criteria "now limit the rating support for a strategically important subsidiary to one notch below the parent's rating" unless there is a significant explicit support agreement from a higher rated parent. We believe we have such an agreement from GE Capital, which is rated AAA by Standard & Poor's. Our implicit and explicit support from GE Capital has not changed.
GE Mortgage Insurance always has been one of the strongest capitalized participants in the mortgage insurance industry and continues to hold capital well in excess of S&P "AAA" requirements. In fact, we have operated with the lowest Risk to Capital Ratio (the industry measure of capitalization given a company's portfolio of risk) in the industry for the last five years.
The other two rating agencies, Moody's and Fitch, continue to recognize the unmatched financial strength of GE Mortgage Insurance. Both agencies recently reaffirmed their ratings for the company at "AAA," their highest levels.
We appreciate the fact that Standard & Poor's sees GE Mortgage Insurance as having "strong fundamentals" and "very strong earnings and market position, extremely strong capitalization, and deep and experienced management." Those factors make it clear why GE Insurance includes credit enhancements such as mortgage insurance in its vision for the future.
GE Mortgage Insurance (Web site: http://www.gemortgageinsurance.com) is part of GE Insurance, a global family of insurance and reinsurance businesses with $13.6 billion in premiums and assets of $188 billion. GE Insurance provides life insurance, retirement income products, property and casualty insurance, risk prevention services, mortgage insurance, and selective financial guarantee insurance. GE Insurance is part of General Electric Company, a diversified services, technology and manufacturing company with operations worldwide.