Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has affirmed North P&I Club’s ‘A’ financial strength rating and stable outlook for the 14th consecutive year. The rating covers North P&I Club and its subsidiary Sunderland Marine, collectively known as North Group.
The ‘A’ rating reflects S&P’s view of the club’s strong business risk profile and very strong financial risk profile. According to S&P, “North Group’s business risk is supported by the club’s well-established, high quality P&I mutual business, as well as its improving fixed premium business. The group’s financial risk is driven by a well-developed capital base, which gives the club headroom above relatively modest levels of risk from the rest of its balance sheet.”
S&P expects the club to maintain its significant market share in the International Group and predicts that North will show a net combined ratio of approximately 104% for the current financial year.
S&P commented that: “The club has a record of conservative performance management with a relatively low five-year weighted average combined ratio compared with peers, fuelled by a well-managed reinsurance policy and high-quality underwriting.” S&P later added that, “The growth of the fixed premium book, through both North and Sunderland Marine brands, supports the very strong assessment of financial risk over the longer term as they begin to deliver profitability and stability to the group’s earnings on a sustainable basis.”
Welcoming the S&P affirmation, North’s Global Director (Finance), Ed Davies, said: “The ‘A’ stable rating and assessment of our capital adequacy as extremely strong demonstrates that we are expected to retain our financial strength during a challenging market environment. The continuing financial strength of the Club underpins our core purpose of enabling our Members to trade with confidence.”