46 Management of capital resources.


Capital structure

The Group’s total capital resources of £8.1bn (2009: £7.3bn) on an [IFRS] basis comprise equity holders capital, £4.8bn (2009: £4.2bn), subordinated debt £1.8bn (2009: £1.8bn), and unallocated divisible surplus, £1.5bn (2009: £1.3bn).

From a regulatory perspective the Group is required to measure and monitor its capital resources on an ongoing basis and to comply with the minimum capital requirements of regulators in each territory in which we operate. At 31 December 2010, Legal & General’s unaudited Insurance Group Directive (IGD) capital resources were £3.7bn (2009: £3.1bn) in excess of capital requirements of £3.0bn (2009: £2.5bn), representing a solvency coverage ratio of 226% (2009: 224%). This surplus capital is after accruing for a 2010 final dividend of £201m (2009: £160m).

The Group writes a range of long term insurance and investment business in the long term fund (LTF) of its main operating insurance subsidiary, Legal & General Assurance Society Limited ([Society]). This fund is segregated from the Group’s other assets. The fund includes participating (with-profits) business where policyholders and shareholders share in the risks and rewards, and non-participating (non profit) business, where the shareholders receive profits or incur losses. Capital in excess of the amount required to cover the liabilities is currently held within Society. This capital provides support for new and existing non profit business within our UK non profit Risk and Savings businesses.

The non-linked, non profit pensions and annuity business of Society is ceded, on arm’s length terms, to a wholly owned Insurance Special Purpose Vehicle (ISPV), Legal & General Pensions Limited (LGPL). Whilst an ISPV is not required to segregate policyholder assets within a LTF, LGPL continues to manage policyholder and shareholder assets separately for internal purposes.

Managed pension fund business is written through Legal & General Assurance (Pensions Management) Limited (PMC), which is a life company writing predominantly non-participating group pension business effected by trustees of occupational schemes in the UK (or their equivalent overseas). The assets are held in a LTF and are separate from other assets within the Group.

In addition, the Group operates two UK long term insurance businesses acquired in 2008 (Nationwide Life Limited and Suffolk Life Annuities Limited). General insurance business is written in the UK by Legal & General Insurance Limited, and long term insurance business is also written by subsidiaries in America, the Netherlands and France.

Capital management policies and objectives

The Group aims to manage its capital resources to maintain financial strength, policyholder security and relative external ratings advantage. The Group also seeks to maximise its financial flexibility by maintaining strong liquidity and by utilising a range of alternative sources of capital including equity, senior debt, subordinated debt and reinsurance.

Capital measures

The Group measures its capital on a number of different bases, including those which comply with the regulatory frameworks within which the Group operates and those which the directors consider most appropriate for managing the business. The measures used by the Group include:

  • Accounting bases
    Management use the primary financial statements prepared on an IFRS basis to manage capital and cash flow usage and to determine dividend paying capacity. In addition, the supplementary accounts prepared using [EEV] principles provide further insight into the value of the business to shareholders. Accordingly the Group’s net asset value and total capital employed are also analysed and measured on this basis.
  • Regulatory bases
    The financial strength of the Group’s insurance subsidiaries is measured under various local regulatory requirements (see below). One of these regulatory measures, Individual Capital Assessment (ICA), measures capital using risk based stochastic techniques, and provides a measure of the level of economic capital required to run the Group’s business.

Basis of regulatory capital and corresponding regulatory capital requirements

In each country in which the Group operates, the local insurance regulator specifies rules and guidance for the minimum amount and type of capital which must be held by long term insurance subsidiaries in excess of their insurance liabilities. The minimum required capital must be maintained at all times throughout the year. This helps to ensure that payments to policyholders can be made as they fall due.

The required capital is calculated by either assessing the additional assets which would be required to meet the insurance company’s liabilities in specified, stressed financial conditions, or by applying fixed percentages to the insurance company’s liabilities and risk exposures. The requirements in the different jurisdictions in which the Group operates are detailed below:

UK regulatory basis

Required capital for the life business is based on FSA rules. Society must hold assets in excess of the higher of two amounts, the first being calculated using the FSA rules specified by the Regulator (pillar 1), the second being an economic capital assessment by the Company which is reviewed by the FSA (pillar 2), otherwise known as ICA.

The public pillar 1 capital calculation is calculated by applying fixed percentages to liabilities and sums assured at risk or setting aside a proportion of expenses (Peak 1). There are further stress tests for participating business, as measured in the Realistic Balance Sheet (Peak 2), which may increase the required capital under Peak 1 calculations.

The private pillar 2 capital calculation is an assessment of the economic capital required to ensure that the Company can meet its liabilities, with a high likelihood, as they fall due. This is achieved by application of stochastic modelling and scenario testing. The result is reviewed and may be modified by the FSA.

Regulatory capital for the general insurance business is also calculated using FSA pillar 1 and pillar 2 requirements. The pillar 1 calculation applies fixed percentages to premiums and claims. Pillar 2 creates a higher capital requirement and is therefore applied in this business.

US regulatory basis

Required capital is determined to be the Company Action Level Risk Based Capital (RBC) based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners RBC model. RBC is a method of measuring the minimum amount of capital appropriate for an insurance company to support its overall business operations, taking into account its size and risk profile. The calculation is based on applying factors to various asset, premium, claim, expense and reserve items, with higher factors used for those items with greater underlying risk and lower factors for less risky items.

French and Dutch regulatory bases

The minimum required capital is defined by the French Ministry of Finance’s ‘Code des Assurances’ and the ‘De Nederlandsche Bank N.V.’ (Dutch Supervisory Body) respectively. The basis of the calculation is a percentage of the liabilities plus a percentage of the sum assured at risk and, for some contracts, the premium. The percentages depend on the guarantees given and the amount of reinsurance cover.

Group regulatory basis

In addition to the regulatory capital calculations for the individual firms, the Group is required to comply with the requirements of the Insurance Group’s Directive (IGD).

Available regulatory capital resources

Capital resources available to meet regulatory UK capital requirements are determined using FSA valuation rules. The asset valuation rules are based on UK [GAAP], adjusted for admissibility, counterparty exposure limits and specific valuation differences.

The Group’s regulatory capital position statement in Table 1 sets out the different sources of capital held within the Group. The Group’s total available capital resources, based on unaudited FSA returns, are £5.9bn (2009: £5.1bn) of which £4.5bn (2009: £4.2bn) is held by the life businesses. The use of capital held by the UK and overseas life businesses is generally constrained by local regulatory requirements, and may not be available to provide funding for other businesses.

The total available capital resources of the Group’s with-profits business (with-profits estate) is determined in accordance with the Realistic Balance Sheet rules prescribed by the FSA.

At 31 December 2010, the realistic value of the UK participating liabilities was £15.3bn (2009: £15.3bn) under the FSA realistic capital regime. The excess of realistic assets over realistic liabilities was £1.0bn (2009: £0.8bn). The capital resources reflect the surplus in that part of the fund which is in excess of any constructive obligation to policyholders. The liabilities within the consolidated balance sheet do not include the amount representing the shareholders’ share of future bonuses.

Table 1 – Regulatory capital position statement

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As at 31 December 2010

UK with-
profits
£m

UK non profit and SRC1
£m

LGPL
£m

Overseas and PMC
£m

Total life
£m

Share-
holders’ equity and other activities
£m

Total
£m

1.

UK non profit and SRC includes Nationwide Life Limited and Suffolk Life Annuities Limited.

2.

Other consists of shareholders’ share in realistic liabilities of £334m and changes to the values of assets and liabilities on a regulated basis of £1,614m.

3.

Internal loans wholly comprises the contingent loan (£531m) from Society shareholders’ equity to LGPL, which is reflected in the value of LGPL for regulatory purposes.

Ordinary shareholders' equity outside the LTF

63

981

1,721

2,765

551

3,316

Ordinary shareholders' equity held in the LTF

1,351

159

1,510

1,510

Capital and reserves attributable to ordinary equity holders of the Company

1,414

981

1,880

4,275

551

4,826

Adjustments onto regulatory basis:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unallocated divisible surplus

1,441

28

1,469

1,469

Other2

(489)

(506)

(784)

(1,779)

(169)

(1,948)

Other qualifying capital:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subordinated borrowings

1,799

1,799

Internal loans3

531

531

(531)

Proposed dividend

(201)

(201)

Total available capital resources

952

908

1,512

1,124

4,496

1,449

5,945

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IFRS liability analysis:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UK participating liabilities on realistic basis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Options and guarantees

768

768

768

– Other policyholder obligations

13,491

28

13,519

13,519

Overseas participating liabilities

2,419

2,419

2,419

Unallocated divisible surplus

1,441

28

1,469

1,469

Value of in-force non-participating contracts

(377)

(377)

(377)

Participating contract liabilities

15,323

28

2,447

17,798

17,798

Unit linked non-participating life assurance liabilities

602

7,359

1,409

9,370

9,370

Non-linked non-participating life assurance liabilities

2,024

17,496

2,174

21,694

21,694

Unit linked non-participating investment contract liabilities

8,677

20,766

223,983

253,426

253,426

General insurance liabilities

261

261

Non-participating contract liabilities

11,303

45,621

227,566

284,490

261

284,751

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As at 31 December 2009

UK with-
profits
£m

UK non profit and SRC1
£m

LGPL
£m

Overseas and PMC
£m

Total life
£m

Share-
holders’ equity and other activities
£m

Total
£m

1.

UK non profit and SRC includes Nationwide Life Limited and Suffolk Life Annuities Limited.

2.

Other consists of shareholders’ share in realistic liabilities of £307m and changes to the values of assets and liabilities on a regulated basis of £1,700m.

3.

Internal loans wholly comprises the contingent loan (£981m) from Society shareholders’ equity to LGPL, which is reflected in the value of LGPL for regulatory purposes.

Ordinary shareholders' equity outside the LTF

157

703

1,553

2,413

492

2,905

Ordinary shareholders' equity in the LTF

1,291

1,291

1,291

Capital and reserves attributable to equity holders of the Company

1,448

703

1,553

3,704

492

4,196

Adjustments onto regulatory basis:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unallocated divisible surplus

1,249

35

1,284

1,284

Other2

(408)

(609)

(763)

(1,780)

(227)

(2,007)

Other qualifying capital:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subordinated borrowings

1,815

1,815

Internal loans3

981

981

(981)

Proposed dividend

(160)

(160)

Total available capital resources

841

839

1,684

825

4,189

939

5,128

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[IFRS] liability analysis:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UK participating liabilities on realistic basis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Options and guarantees

723

723

723

– Other policyholder obligations

13,447

33

13,480

13,480

Overseas participating liabilities

2,340

2,340

2,340

Unallocated divisible surplus

1,249

35

1,284

1,284

Value of in-force non-participating contracts

(367)

(367)

(367)

Participating contract liabilities

15,052

33

2,375

17,460

17,460

Unit linked non-participating life assurance liabilities

554

491

1,404

2,449

2,449

Non-linked non-participating life assurance liabilities

1,953

21,878

2,073

25,904

25,904

Unit linked non-participating investment contract liabilities

8,152

18,341

208,009

234,502

234,502

General insurance liabilities

230

230

Non-participating contract liabilities

10,659

40,710

211,486

262,855

230

263,085

Available regulatory capital resource risks

The Group’s available capital resources are sensitive to changes in market conditions, both to changes in the value of the assets and to the impact which changes in investment conditions may have on the value of the liabilities. Capital resources are also sensitive to assumptions and experience relating to mortality and morbidity and, to a lesser extent, expenses and persistency. The most significant sensitivities arise from the following four risks:

  • market risk in relation to UK participating business which would crystallise if adverse changes in the value of the assets supporting this business could not be fully reflected in payments to policyholders because of the effect of guarantees and options. The capital position of this business would also deteriorate if increases to the market cost of derivatives resulted in an increase in the liability for guarantees and options in the realistic balance sheet.
  • market risk in relation to the UK annuity business, which would crystallise if the return from the fixed interest investments supporting this business were lower than that assumed for reserving.
  • mortality risk in relation to the UK annuity business, which would crystallise if the mortality of annuitants improved more rapidly than the assumptions used for reserving.
  • mortality risk in relation to the UK and US term assurance businesses, which would crystallise if mortality of the lives insured was higher than that assumed, possibly because of an epidemic.

A range of management actions is available to mitigate any adverse impact from changing market conditions and experience, including changes to with-profits bonus rates, changes to discretionary surrender terms and charging for guarantees. To the extent that management actions are expected only to offset partially adverse experience, then liabilities would be increased to anticipate the future impact of the adverse experience and total capital resources would be reduced.

Table 2 below provides management estimates of the impact on [IGD surplus] to changes in market conditions:

Table 2 – IGD sensitivity analysis

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Impact on
surplus
capital
2010
£bn

Impact on
surplus
capital
2009
£bn

Sensitivity test

 

 

20% fall in equity values

(0.2)

(0.3)

40% fall in equity values

(0.5)

(0.6)

15% fall in property values

(0.1)

(0.1)

100bps increase in interest rates

(0.2)

(0.3)

100bps increase in credit spreads

(0.1)

(0.1)

Details of IFRS and EEV sensitivity analysis can be found in Table 6 and Table 7 of Note 48.

Movements in life business regulatory capital resources

The movement in the life business regulatory capital resources is shown in Table 3.

Table 3 – Movements in life business regulatory capital resources

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UK with-profits
£m

UK non
profit
and SRC1
£m

LGPL
£m

Overseas and PMC
£m

Total life
£m

1.

UK non profit and SRC includes Nationwide Life Limited and Suffolk Life Annuities Limited.

As at 1 January 2010

841

839

1,684

825

4,189

Effect of investment variations

210

76

106

(2)

390

Effect of changes in valuation assumptions

(41)

59

(71)

(53)

Changes in regulatory requirements

New business

(17)

(77)

(3)

(47)

(144)

Cash distributions

(237)

(148)

(385)

Other factors

(41)

248

(204)

496

499

As at 31 December 2010

952

908

1,512

1,124

4,496

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UK with-profits
£m

UK non
profit
and SRC1
£m

LGPL
£m

Overseas and PMC
£m

Total life
£m

1.

UK non profit and SRC includes Nationwide Life Limited and Suffolk Life Annuities Limited.

As at 1 January 2009

641

673

565

687

2,566

Effect of investment variations

241

75

(47)

3

272

Effect of changes in valuation assumptions

11

52

121

184

Changes in regulatory requirements

26

39

139

204

New business

(44)

(95)

67

(75)

(147)

Cash distributions

(108)

(87)

(195)

Capital contributions

600

48

648

Other factors

(8)

216

339

110

657

As at 31 December 2009

841

839

1,684

825

4,189

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