ZURICH INSURANCE GRO

ZURN
Delayed Swiss Exchange - 11:30 2022-12-02 am EST
450.00 CHF -0.82%

Transcript : Zurich Insurance Group AG - Special Call

09/27/2022 | 07:00am

Presentation Operator Message
Operator (Operator)

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the IFRS 17 at Zurich Conference Call and Live Webcast. I am Sandra, the Chorus Call operator. [Operator Instructions]. And the conference is being recorded. [Operator Instructions] The conference must not be recorded for publication or broadcast. At this time, it's my pleasure to hand over to Jon Hocking, Head of Investor Relations and Rating Agency Management. Please go ahead, sir.

Presenter Speech
Jonathan Hocking (Executives)

Good afternoon and good morning, everybody. Welcome to Zurich Insurance Group's IFRS 17 Education Event. I'm Jon Hocking from Investor Relations. I'm joined by our 2 presenters today. We've got George Quinn, our Group Chief Financial Officer; and Karthik Thilak, who's the Group Head of Financial Accounting and Reporting.

George and Karthik, I'm going to present every slide, but the full deck is available for download both of the webcast platform and also from our website. The presentation is going to last around about 45 minutes, and then we'll be very happy to take questions. [Operator Instructions] With that, I'll hand over to George to kick off.

Presenter Speech
George Quinn (Executives)

Thank you, Jon, and good morning or good afternoon, everyone. As Jon mentioned, Karthik is with us prior to his role as Group Head of Financial Accounting and Reporting, Karthik was our IFRS 17 program leader. So he's particularly well placed to guide us through the effects of IFRS 17.

So the aim today is to provide a view of how the transition to IFRS 17 will affect Zurich's financial results, disclosures, balance sheet, et cetera. And we'll touch on that together with some introduction to how it will impact KPIs in the future. It's going to be largely qualitative, but the information we've given you is -- it's based on the best of our knowledge at this point in time.

We'll go through some of the decisions that we've made, some of the judgments that we've taken and walk you through how we see these impacting balance sheet and income over the next few years.

A couple of caveats before we start. This year is obviously not yet over, which means that I can't predict precisely what the outcome for this year is going to be under IFRS 17. We're still learning, we're still fine-tuning things. It will continue for some time to come. But we obviously have sufficient confidence to make this presentation today.

Many of the comments are going to reference 1/1/22 as the starting point. And you'll hear this especially as regards equity impacts. The interesting challenge this year is not that the IFRS 17 balance sheet is especially volatile, but the IFRS 4 balance sheet is. For example, the reduction in equity that you're going to hear reference at the beginning of the year is much smaller by the end of the first half, and it's not at all any conceivable by the end of the year, the IFRS 17 equity could be greater than IFRS 4 equity.

I'm going to try and avoid slipping into jargon immediately, but as you're going to discover quite quickly, that's not easy. There is a new language to learn as part of this effort. The event we're having today is also probably a bit earlier than we might ordinarily have planned.

But given we're bringing IFRS 17 in the shape of targets to the Investor Day, we felt it was important to establish the right context for that presentation in November and hence, why we're presenting today. And as Jon said, there's going to be plenty of time afterwards for Q&A.

So some key messages. The most important point that I want to make today is that we don't expect the adoption of IFRS 17 to lead to any significant changes at Zurich. It doesn't lead to significant changes in the group earnings. It doesn't lead to changes in the underlying economics of the business. It doesn't change cash or capital. It does change equity, but is that simply a different presentation of the same economic balance sheet.

It doesn't really impact us. Consequently, the things that matter most, as so strategy, risk preference and of course, most importantly, the dividend policy remain unchanged. Now if that's all that was to say, this would be a pretty short presentation. But of course, what the big picture is not changing too much, the underlying detail is -- Here, you can see a bit of the journey we've been through. We've been running a dedicated group program, focused on the joint implementation of IFRS 17 and 9 since 2017, even if it sometimes feels like it was 1917.

And I think I've said to some of you that I had no children when the IASB added this topic to their agenda and the children that I have acquired in the intervening period are not children anymore. To put it positively, we've had plenty of time to prepare, and we think we're well positioned. There are some unexpected benefits. So the transition is afforded as opportunities for transformation and simplification, including the development of some new platforms.

So for example, we've accelerated the adoption of cloud-based technology. We've completely overhauled the actuarial systems, and we have new workflow tools around data analytics and performance management. I'd also highlight the efforts of the CFO forum and implementation and especially the work together with my peers at Allianz X and Generali. And together, we've prioritized consistency and comparability because we recognize the value that this has for all of us.

IFRS 17 is up and running. We're going through a quarterly parallel closes under both IFRS 4 and IFRS 17 standards. And we're running the financial planning process for the next 3 years entirely under IFRS 17. And we're looking forward to welcoming you back here soon to present the 2023-2025 financial targets at the Investor Day in November.

In terms of disclosure, the full year '22 results will continue to be based entirely on IFRS 4, but we'll include a detailed presentation on the IFRS 17 transition impacts. And while the 3-month update that we give in May next year will already be based on IFRS 17 and 9, the first full reporting for us under the new accounting standards will take place with the disclosure of our half year '23 results, which is next August.

IFRS 17 introduces an approach to accounting for insurance that's generally described as the general model and then there are variations or simplifications that reflect the different extent of policyholder participation and investment or insurance entity performance. And broadly, these are the nonparticipating or indirect participating model referred to as the Building Block Approach or BBA, or the direct participating model, which you here referred to as the Variable Fee Approach or VFA. For short duration contracts, IFRS 17 allows the application of a simplified so-called Premium Allocation Approach or PAA, which can be applied to contracts that have a coverage paid of up to a year or for multiyear contracts where the results using PAA wouldn't differ significantly from those using the BBA.

Zurich's general approach across the group is aimed at applying the standard while achieving as much consistency across the reported results across businesses and geographies. And therefore, the simplified of PAA approach is mandated to be used for all Property & Casualty insurance business, while the default accounting approach for our Life business is the general model, so the BBA or the VFA.

You can see this approach outlined on the slide together, with at the bottom what is a very short list of exceptions to those general rules. The standard is principle-based, and that means that there's a number of areas we have to make choices or judgments in this application.

And where we've made those choices, the group's main criteria has been to limit volatility as far as possible, ensure the stability of earnings, achieve operational simplification as well as, as much as we possibly can, to recognize the underlying economics of the business that we write. And let me highlight a number of key accounting choices that we've made in this respect.

IFRS 17 introduces a current measurement for all insurance liabilities. It allows, and we've opted for the use of locked-in interest rates to discount loss reserves so they're not for VFA. And this reduces volatility in the P&L. The standard requires the revaluation of the balance sheet reserve using current rates at each reporting date with the difference in valuation between the current and long-term rates being a component of Other Comprehensive Income.

We've also chosen to adopt interest rate definitions that as much as possible or close to the local regulatory requirements, at least as far as is permitted under the standard. This introduces some diversity at the country level, but it means that the accounting basis is a bit more consistent with capital generation.

We've adopted for 0 OCI transition. The P&C businesses will apply the relevant discount rates for the period from 2015 onwards, 2014 for the U.S. business, but 2015 for the rest and transition date discount rates for all prior periods. This reduces the expected positive impact of discounting on OCI transition, but it does create somewhat of an earnings headwind as the discounting effect builds up to run rate over time.

In determining the discount rates, we're applying the default bottom-up approach, so therefore, risk-free plus an illiquidity premium. And for risk adjustment, we're applying the percentile or confidence level approach. The calibration of risk adjustment considers the probability distribution of future cash flows and the additional amount to be held above the best estimate -- an estimated probability in order to meet that target confidence level.

In doing so, we've defined different percentile ranges for Life and non-Life separately. Given the much longer duration of the Life business, we're applying a much higher percentile risk adjustment to the Life business, which we expect to have a stabilizing impact on earnings over time.

The calibration approach for the risk adjustment percentiles is in line with our target SST ratio of above 160%. IFRS 9 introduces an option to account for certain equity securities at fair value through Other Comprehensive Income, but the group does not intend to make use of this option. This choice will increase the volatility of the investment result within the P&L and consequently, NIAS, but recognizes that over time, we expect to generate income from these investments.

And we already have volatility to some degree with realized gains and losses and impairments in the current P&L.

The group has also applied retrospective transition approach whenever practical and expects that most groups of insurance contracts will follow either the full retrospective approach or the modified retrospective approach. The fair value approach, which will provide whether is no reasonable or supporting information to enable us to apply the retrospective approach, we expect to be impacting less than 20% of the CSM.

As you can see on this slide, and subject to my earlier comments about the trajectory of equity over the course of this year, shareholders' equity under IFRS 17 at transition, transition in this context being 1/1/22, is expected to reduce compared to the equivalent IFRS 4 position. And that's likely the most notable change that results from the application of the new standard.

The transition equity impacts can be broadly grouped into accounting policy choices that we made under IFRS 4. So for example, DAC amortization, real estate valuation for us. Then IFRS 17 accounting mechanics, the creation of CSM, the introduction of discounting, risk adjustment and things like the level of aggregation for onerous contract testing and then transition calibration decisions; for example, the things we've adopted with the intention of reducing volatility in future; so for example, risk adjustment.

The majority of the expected equity reduction will be driven by retained earnings, and that's mainly as a result of the somewhat more back-ended profit recognition that you get under IFRS 17. We're looking at the change from a segment perspective, the group is expecting limited to positive equity impacts from short-term P&C business and reductions from long-term Life.

As I mentioned on the prior slides, earnings are not expected to change significantly compared to IFRS 4. Thus, essentially, the changes shows equity that I've just described, will lead to an expected on mechanical increase in return of equity of up to about 300 basis points compared to the current underlying levels of around 15%. However, given that IFRS 17 is an accounting change only, it does not impact the underlying economics of Life and P&C. It, therefore, does not change a view of their relative attractiveness or in some cases, unfortunately, unattractiveness.

Having said that, given the changes, we'll reflect this mechanical change and the starting point for our ROE ambition when we set the targets for the new strategic cycle at the Investor Day in November. The introduction of IFRS 17 and 9 represents an accounting change only. Again, no underlying changes in the economics of the company. And therefore, we don't expect to see any change in cash or capital generation.

There might be some second order impacts. But these will be limited to areas where we see or we accept IFRS 17 as a starting point as a convenience. Leverage is expected to remain at a comparable level on a comparable basis post the introduction of IFRS 17. Our reported ratio will include CSM and risk adjustment. This is necessary and appropriate given the loss absorbing characteristics and the fact that in the case of CSM, it can be monetized.

As a consequence, our dividend policy is not impacted by the adoption of IFRS 17. So to conclude for this part of the presentation, just let me reiterate the key messages. No significant change. There was a reduction in Life equity and a mechanical increase in the ROE, but the underlying economics of the businesses are unchanged, and earnings are not expected to be significantly affected, and cash and capital are unchanged.

I think once we all get used to it, IFRS 17 should lead to better comparability across lines of business in the reported results, should also improve the visibility of profit emergence in the Life business. But again, we don't expect this to lead to any change in our targeted business mix.

And finally, neither our dividend payment capacity, the dividend policy or our communicated payout ratio target will change following the transition to the new standard.

Let me now hand over to Karthik. And following Karthik's section, as Jon said earlier, we will open for Q&A. Thank you.

Presenter Speech
Karthik Thilak (Executives)

Thanks, George, and good morning, good afternoon, everyone. It's a real pleasure for me to be here today because as someone who spent the last few years of my life working on IFRS 17, this represents an important milestone because it's a first in a series of communications, which we have planned on IFRS 17, and it's all becoming real, so it's really exciting.

And as George said, as an industry, we have come a long way in working with the IASB and defining these new standards and making them fit for purpose, not just for management, but for you as the users of the financial statement. And as you know, there were 3 main objectives of the new standard.

So it was about increasing consistency, especially with the economics and the accounting. It was about improving transparency in long-tail businesses like the Life book. But most importantly, it was about improving comparability of the financial statement. And the aim was not even to improve comparability within the insurance industry, but even across industries.

Now having been through the experience of implementing IFRS 17 and enabling the actual transition, I think we are on track for the improved consistency and transparency. But achieving a greater degree of comparability, it's going to take a few years.

I expect that there needs to be more convergence of practice which will form and new baselines will also be said because the presentation is going to be different in the new world. In today's session, it's also aimed at really accelerating that because we would like to give you a closer look on the application choices which we've made, which we believe reflects our business model and also the underlying economics.

So with that, let's start with P&C. So given that we have applied the simplified approach or the premium allocation model for the whole of the P&C book, we expect to see only limited impact on the P&C financial statements. So with the changes in IFRS 17 and the simplified model, there are 2 new concepts, right?

So it's discounting the impact of the reserves. And it's also the recognition of risk adjustment. I will spend some time going through these new concepts because you will notice that they create a visible impact across the whole of the P&C financial statements. There are also a few other elements, which will lead to slight differences in a combined ratio and in the reserves, but we expect these to have a limited impact compared to today's picture.

IFRS 17 also requires us to test for contracts if they are loss-making at a much more granular level. But we don't expect the P&C onerous contracts or the loss component to be material at a group level. On the presentation side, 1 immediate benefit which we do see is that, to a certain extent, IFRS 17 helps comparability between the different lines of businesses as well.

Overall, while these new mechanics, they can impact presentation and in some cases, they can also affect the timing of profit recognition, we don't expect any of that to be substantial to have an impact on our target business mix. So the P&C business mix should remain unchanged.

On this slide, let's start with the comparison of the old versus new of the most important P&C KPIs. So other than Insurance revenue, which now becomes the new top line metric, the other metrics of what you're already used to. Insurance revenue, it will replace GWP. But please note that it is not the same in definition. Insurance revenue is much more comparable to gross earned premium from the current IFRS world. The other main difference is that, in our case, we will include premiums from single-parent captives on a net basis within the Insurance revenue.

I expect Insurance revenue will become a really important metric going forward because it is the main driver of the profit for the P&C business and it will also replace net earned premium as the baseline for the calculation of the combined ratio. The combined ratio that will also change and where the insurance service result, which is on a fully loaded basis, including the reinsurance result, will form the new numerator and gross Insurance revenue becomes the new denominator.

So we call this the net gross combined ratio. We provided you some illustrations in the deck, which should highlight how purely the presentational differences can also lead to slight changes in the ratio itself. We expect that the P&C [ bolts ] and the P&C shareholders' equity will remain fairly stable. Though at transition, the P&C shareholder equity will increase and that's mainly due to the effect of discounting of the P&C reserves.

I'd also like to highlight 2 principles, which we've followed in definition of the new IFRS 17 KPIs, not just for P&C, but also for Life. First, as the KPI definitions themselves, they are not stipulated by the standard. To the greatest extent possible, we have considered peer alignment in those definitions. And it's in our interest to stay comparable with the peers.

However, we'll continue to monitor how the market practice is developing. And if required, we will fine-tune our KPI framework.

Second, we've always tried to keep the financial statements as the basis for the derivation of the KPIs. That way, we don't have to maintain any more shadow or offline metrics. And for you, it should also help you trace the KPIs back to the actual financial statements.

On this slide, you see the new phase of the income statement under IFRS 17. One key point to note is, is that while IFRS 4 always focused on revenues or expenses, you will notice that IFRS 17 brings a bundled margin view. In my head, I always think about them as concentric circles, which is centered around the insurance service result. But within the insurance service result, you notice that the reinsurance result is also presented separately.

So it is much more transparent on how is the direct business performing and what is the contribution from the reinsurance.

Investment results. So this is mainly the result of the investing activities. And then you have the fee result. So fee result will include fees from any unbundled services, which we provide to our customers, so like risk engineering services. But in our case, most importantly, it also includes the result of the Farmers' management services company, which is unaffected by IFRS 17.

Other result. This will mainly be non-qualifying expenses and other. Note that these bundles, they don't change, whether it's a P&C business or a Life business, and it also doesn't change based on what measurement model you apply. So that's 1 common view of presenting the IFRS 17 results.

Also note that the bottom line metrics themselves, they don't change. So what changes with the simplified model? I mentioned it's mainly discounting and risk adjustment. So let's talk about discounting in more detail. The concept of discounting itself is not new to you, but the difference now is that it applies to the whole of the P&C reserve.

So how do we discount? We apply the bottom-up discount rates and that's based on risk-free, and we will include the illiquidity premium. The base rates for risk-free are very similar to EIOPA curves, so we should be consistent with our major European peers as well.

Illiquidity premium is determined in -- using an approach, which is very similar also to the EIOPA volatility adjustment. To limit the volatility in the P&L, we have chosen also the locked-in option. So we lock in the current accident year rates, which are used for discounting and any financial impact from the difference between the current rates and locked-in rates that is recognized in the Other Comprehensive Income in the balance sheet.

So how does the mechanics work? So all the claims reserves, they get discounted on day 1. And then the effect of discount is a benefit to the current year in the P&L because you create lower liabilities. The unwind of the discount, however, in the subsequent periods, is a charge to the P&L.

Note that there is an important presentational dynamic here because the standard requires us to recognize the unwind of the discount, which is a charge in the subsequent period, as insurance finance expense, and that is included in the investment result and not in the insurance service result. So this presentational difference can also lead to slight changes in the ratios itself. And in the current interest rate environment, it can have significant effects.

The last component of transition, it's about -- the transition impact is the last component of discount. So as part of transition, as it was mentioned by George, we will go back until 2015 with the historical yield curves for discounting the historical reserves. And for any periods prior to that, the historical reserves are bundled together, and then we apply the December 2021 forward curve and this is the 0 OCI method.

Overall, discounting will have a positive effect on the P&C shareholders' equity transition, but with the 0 OCI option that effect is lower.

Now that we've covered discounting, let's talk about risk adjustment, which is an additional allowance for uncertainty. So while discounting reduces the claims liabilities, risk adjustment is an additional risk margin, so it increases the claims liabilities and the current accident year.

We will use the percentile method for calculating the risk adjustment, which in our case is based on SST, and we will also calibrate it for the cost of capital. And as George mentioned earlier, we're going to be using different percentiles for Life and P&C, and that's mainly due to the difference in the duration of the underlying liabilities.

Mechanically, the process of booking risk adjustment is very similar to discounting, but it just works in the opposite direction. So risk adjustment, which is applied on day 1, it's a charge. And then over time, when it is released back to the P&L, it is a benefit.

While in the picture, it shows that risk adjustment and discounting are offsetting each other, it is true. Directionally, they will offset each other. But then the net impact per accident year, it depends on various circumstances. So for example, the business mix or the interest rates, which we use for the discounting or in certain cases, it could also be changes in the capital framework, which affects the risk adjustment calculation. So directionally offsetting, but quantum can be different.

An important point to note on risk adjustment is the release of risk adjustment back to the P&L in the subsequent periods will be included as part of PYD, prior year development. And we expect PYD to also remain in a favorable level in the future.

To sum up the pictures on liabilities, the implementation of IFRS 17, we also don't expect it to have a significant impact on our nominal reserves. And this is mainly because we already apply best estimate principles to reserving in the P&C space today. IFRS 17 though, it doesn't recognize the concept of reserve strength, so we will make an allowance for limited historical experience within our best estimate liabilities.

So think of this as an additional prudence within our P&C reserves to cover for any reserve deficiency for events which are not sufficiently reflected in the historical experience. And I believe some in the market are also calling this as resilience reserves.

So to summarize the application choices for P&C under IFRS 17, the nominal reserves, they remain similar, including the ALHE, while recognizing the risk adjustment adds additional prudence and it increases the liabilities, and then discounting is more a financing component and that reduces the liabilities.

Now let's move on to ratios. I had mentioned earlier that IFRS 17 combined ratio is more comparable across the different lines of businesses. So we have selected 2 examples here for an accident year combined ratio walk, which shows you the difference between IFRS 4 and IFRS 17.

So adding the discounting and risk adjustment impacts to the overall picture, it provides for a better portfolio comparability, especially between the short-tail and in the long-tail lines. Discounting has a bigger impact, giving a larger benefit to the longer tail lines because you anticipate that there's adequate investment income to absorb the higher reserve unwind.

And risk adjustment is slightly larger for property, and that's because there are more volatile factors like CATs or large losses in that line of business.

The other factors which impact combined ratio, it is the use of reinsurance because now the reinsurance result is entirely presented together and then also the fact that Insurance revenue now becomes a new denominator for the calculation of combined ratio.

Again, remember that other than the effect of discounting and risk adjustment, which can have an impact on timing of profit recognition, the rest are purely presentational differences, and we don't expect any of this to change the relative risk appetite between the different lines for us.

Last point on P&C. Investment result, right? So investment result in the future, it will also include the unwind of the discount, which is now booked as discount of the insurance liability. Now what this effectively does is it turns the net investment result into an investment margin view. And this is the second bundle of the bundled margin view.

The levels of the P&C investment income itself as well as the capital gains and losses from hedge fund portfolios, which we today include in the BOP, that will not change because it's not affected by IFRS 17. So in summarizing the P&C section, there are new elements of risk adjustment and discounting, which will result in both changes in timing of profit recognition in certain cases and also presentational differences, but the ultimate outcome, it never changes in the new standard.

Insurance revenue will become a key metric and combined ratio definition will also be reset. And on the actual financial impacts, the strength of our reserves doesn't materially change. We don't expect any material change in the P&C bottom line and the P&C shareholders' equity will increase on transition date, mainly due to transition effects. And we don't anticipate any of this to be substantial to have a change in our target business mix.

So now we can move on to Life. I keep saying, Life is more complicated and Life accounting is also more complex. But I'm going to do my best in trying to break it down into 3 blocks. So we'll cover first the measurement models, then we'll talk about the mechanics and dynamics of these measurement models and lastly, we'll also cover presentational differences under IFRS 17.

So the Life business, it sees the most significant changes with the move to IFRS 17. While we don't expect our earnings level to materially change compared to IFRS 4, the profit signature of the Life results will be different. Remember also the transparency objective of IFRS 17.

IFRS 17 does bring the margin view also to the Life book. And you will see that in 2 places where I really like the new transparency. So one is the presentation will increase the visibility of the profit emergence; and two, there will also be more transparency on how new business translates into the IFRS results, and I'll demonstrate that to you.

From a balance sheet view, the equity at transition will be lower. And there are multiple drivers here, but the most significant one is the recognition of the future stock of profits, the Contractual Service Margin or CSM, as a liability on the balance sheet.

While a lower equity, it will result in a higher accounting ROE, we don't expect this to change the relative attractiveness of the Life business or any of the underlying Life products. And to be clear, our focus on Protection and on Unit-Linked, it will continue.

Lastly, unlike P&C, there are different measurement models, which are applied to the Life contracts, and this is based on the nature of the business, and we'll see about that in the next slide.

You probably noticed that you don't see GMM or General Measurement Model on the slide, and let me just clarify that. So purely for convenience, we've chosen to use VFA for all direct participating contracts and for the rest, we use BBA or Building Block Approach just to differentiate it.

I think the best way to read this slide is if you go vertically by the different lines of businesses, which are shown on the slide, and I'll cover the most important portfolios. So most of our Continental Europe savings product, they will qualify for application of the Variable Fee Approach. And given the long-tail nature of this book, these are also the most significant contributor to the CSM stock at transition.

Under IFRS 17, unit-linked products, they may be considered either as insurance products, in which case, we apply the Variable Fee Approach or in certain cases, they may even be considered as an investment contracts, in which case, they are not under IFRS 17, but they are accounted for under IFRS 9 basis.

The classification between insurance and investment, it really depends on the materiality of the risk, which is transferred as part of the contract. On the Protection portfolio, the bulk of it is accounted for using the Building Block Approach. And then the truly short-term production book, which we specifically sell in Latin America and through the Zurich-Santander joint venture, we will apply the PAA or the simplified approach also for that portfolio. Already today, we effectively manage it as a P&C line of business.

Now before we look into the mechanics of these measurement models in the following slides, on the right side, you see how material are these different measurement models and that's both based on the reserves and the investment liabilities, but as well as the contribution to both. Keep in mind that this picture is from 1 January 2022, so it still includes our German back book. But once that disposal is completed, the share of VFA, it will be materially lower.

So in summary, you should think of our Life business as 3 blocks. About 75% of the business is accounted for using the VFA or the BBA approach or the general model. Then you have the PAA block, which you already know, how it operates. It's very similar to P&C. And then the IFRS 9 block, which is purely investment contracts, and they are managed as assets under management, cost-income ratio, fee revenue. Those would be the KPIs for that.

So to the interesting part. Let's talk about the mechanics and dynamics of these different models. I'm going to explain this more from a P&L point of view. So just assume that by this point, we've already calculated the CSM and that's recorded -- the CSM stock is recorded. So the BBA, it is the default measurement model for insurance contracts under IFRS 17. So this model will apply for all of our Protection business other than LatAm and also certain indirect participating contracts like the ones we sell in Spain.

Under the BBA model, the key profit driver is the earn-through of the profits through the CSM amortization and the release of the risk adjustment. So if you follow through with the chart on the right side. There is 1 dynamic to note here that the risk adjustment release under P&C, it typically tends to follow the same pattern as the release of the reserves. However, on the Life side, the risk adjustment is released based on the underlying risk driver. So it's very much possible that the risk adjustment release has a different pattern than the CSM release pattern.

Then you booked a loss component for anything related to onerous contracts. We don't expect loss components to be material at a group level, but it may be visible at a regional level. There is a volatility reduction choice here. So all economic variances such as change in discount rates, they will impact the shareholders' equity directly through Other Comprehensive Income without hitting the P&L.

If operating variances occur, there is a check, right? It is first validated if it is pertaining to the past or the current periods, in which case, that's recorded against BOP. But if it pertains to future profitability, then the operating variances are also absorbed by the CSM and then they affect the P&L only through the CSM amortization.

So together, all those components, they give you the insurance service result, once again, the first bundle. And then beyond that, for the BBA business, we also expect that there is a positive BOP contribution from the investment result and the other result will mainly be non-qualifying expenses.

Now if we move to VFA, I think it's a bit more easier to explain VFA through BBA because it's a modified version of BBA. So the Variable Fee Approach or VFA, it can be applied to all direct participating contracts. So in our case, this applies to our Swiss business, our German business, the U.K. with-profits products that we sell, and it will also apply to the unit-linked portfolios, which are treated as insurance and they will also fall under the VFA model.

Similar to BBA, the key BOP drivers for the VFA business is also the CSM amortization and the release of the risk adjustment. But the key difference to BBA is that any impact of economic variances, they do not impact the P&L directly. So they are first absorbed by the CSM and then they affect the P&L only through CSM amortization in future periods.

Operating variances and assumption updates. Here, in cases where we have policyholder participation like we have in Switzerland and Germany, also, the actual versus expected experience on operating variances is absorbed by the and it impacts the P&L only through the CSM amortization. Also note that investment result under VFA model is also reflected as part of the CSM and it flows back to the P&L through the CSM amortization. This can be quite counterintuitive at first because you expect to see an investment result. But a simple way to think about it is, under VFA, where it's all about direct participating contracts, the investment performance is also part of the core insurance service, and hence, there is no separate investment result.

This mechanism, it's also a driver for the equity impact at transition for the VFA portfolio. So to give you an example, any capital gains from real estate portfolio which we have in Switzerland under the IFRS 4 basis today, it's already part of the IFRS 4 equity. But as part of transition to IFRS 17, a portion of it moves from equity into the transition CSM and it's amortized then over time.

So between VFA and BBA, now you understand the P&L dynamics of more than 75% of the business. Remember the rest is PAA and IFRS 9. So we've talked about the mechanics and dynamics, now I'll just cover 2 slides on presentation.

So to the transparency features of IFRS 17, this one is something I really like because it brings much more discipline and rigor on how new business contributes to both the value of the in-force portfolio as well as to the -- ultimately to the profitability.

Now those of you who cover life insurance businesses, you would know that new business metrics doesn't really have much of a direct connection to the IFRS results. But that will change with IFRS 17, where it becomes clearly visible as to how much of the new business CSM -- or in other words, how much of the unearned profits is added to the book in any given period and you can also see how much of it accretes back to the P&L.

So the chart you see on the right side, that's the CSM walk and I think it will become a powerful tool for you. So it shows whether the business is growing or is it shrinking and that's by comparing CSM accretion versus dilution. And it also provides you an insight on the year-on-year operating variances, so it gives a flavor for the reliability of the underlying best estimate assumptions.

So the CSM walk is also a balance sheet view. And now let's move to the BOP walk, which is the P&L view. So this is the second feature in terms of better visibility of profit emergence that you get under IFRS 17. The key driver of the profit is the margin release and that's made up of CSM amortization, risk adjustment release and that's for both the BBA and VFA portfolios.

And we will also add the technical result of the Life short-term book, which is accounted for on the PAA basis into the margin release view. The investment result, which is then relevant only for BBA and PAA, remember, for VFA, there is no separate investment result, the fee result will cover the performance of the pure investment contracts, which are accounted for on an IFRS 9 basis and then the other result is mainly non-qualifying expenses.

So for completeness, this illustrative graph, it also gives you the actual versus expected experience and that can move in both directions. And it also shows the impact of onerous contracts. So the view is not -- this view, it's not directly available in the disclosures, but we will provide it to you as part of our supplements going forward.

Now we've covered a lot of measurement and dynamics and presentation, so a question which may now be on your mind is, what does all this mean to the volatility of the results under IFRS 17? And at this stage, it's quite difficult to give 1 clear answer because there are elements of the new standard, which point on both directions.

So let me take a few examples. If we take market impacts, they will become much more visible under the IFRS 17 insurance result, especially for the VFA portfolio because they are reflected in the CSM and then the effect of the P&L through the CSM amortization. At the same time, under IFRS 4, we used to have locked-in assumptions, so that was limiting volatility from the market impacts on the IFRS results.

Then you have operating variances or assumptions updates. They will continue to impact the P&L also in the future, but we expect that this impact can be much more subdued, that's because of the CSM mechanics where it's absorbed by CSM first and then amortize to the P&L. And today, a lot of volatility in the Life result, it also is a result of one-offs. And these can be positive one-offs or adverse one-offs.

We also expect that in the future, that will become less pronounced because these one-offs gets absorbed by the CSM and then it gets amortized over time. So at this stage, based on dry runs which we have performed, we don't anticipate very significant changes to the volatility of the Life results. And of course, we'll continue to manage the business and prioritize growth in areas which contributes to more stable earnings.

So that brings me to the end of my presentation, and let me conclude on Life. So we welcome the shift to IFRS 17 because it addresses a number of limitations in the current accounting rules. The new presentation, it will improve visibility, especially around new business contribution and profit emergence, and it should help to get better understanding of our Life business and its performance drivers and increase the confidence when you're valuing the business.

From a financial point of view, Life equity transition will be lower, it's mainly due to the recognition of future profits, the CSM as a liability and earnings level of the Life book will be largely unchanged. We do not expect any of this to have an impact on our strategy and our focus on Protection and Unit-Linked will continue.

So with that, thank you, and I look forward to taking your questions. And over to you, George.

Presenter Speech
George Quinn (Executives)

Thanks, Karthik. And I hope that you found the introduction very useful. This is obviously the beginning of the transition rather than the end of it. And Karthik, Jon, me and the entire IR team are here to support you as we go through the transition together.

From today's presentation, I hope you've got a better sense of IFRS 17 changes, some of the reported information. We'll continue to provide a detailed supplement. And if you've got a particular request about what you would like to see in there, please let us know. IFRS 17 might change the way we report performance, but it doesn't change the way we run the business. It doesn't change the way we generate value or returns for shareholders.

With that, I think we're about ready to start the Q&A. Jon?

Presenter Speech
Jonathan Hocking (Executives)

Thank you, George. [Operator Instructions] So can we ask the first question, please?

Question and Answer Operator Message
Operator (Operator)

[Operator Instructions] The first question comes from Peter Eliot from Kepler Cheuvreux.

Question
Peter Eliot (Analysts)

My 2 questions. The first one, very simple. Just wondering what information you will provide us with next year to enable us to compare 2023 with 2022 and prior?

Second question, on the accounting choices you've made, George, you mentioned that you've sort of spoken closely with Allianz X and Generali. I'm just wondering if you can share with us how comparable you expect these to be across your close peers and the industry and maybe where you expect the main differences to be?

Answer
George Quinn (Executives)

Yes. Thank you, Peter. So maybe I'll do the second part and I'll ask Karthik to say a few things about kind of what disclosures might look like when we publish next year? I think it's been clear to us from a relatively early stage in the process that I mean you can optimize these things individually to make your own results look the way you want to look, but actually to improve the credibility across the industry, the aim has been to try and be as consistent as we possibly can.

So with the CFO forum in particular with the companies that you mentioned, we've tried -- as far as we can to work together to increase the comparability. What are the limits around that topic, I mean, we discussed the key KPIs, that's what you can call them, to try and make sure that we present them the same way.

We've tried to bring some of the definitions of things that aren't really IFRS 17-driven, but impact the way that the companies have viewed. So things like operating profit, so you'll have seen in the presentation earlier that we've changed our definition very slightly to make it more consistent with the peer group.

I think the limitation on this thing really lies around some of those key judgments. So I mean Karthik was describing how we approach things like risk adjustment, we approach best estimate reserving. I mean -- and those are things that we obviously can't share in advance.

So I mean, we might have a sense of what people intend to do, but we just don't know. And I think that's why both Karthik and I think that -- I mean, there's going to be some transition beyond the transition. I mean, hopefully, that's not a significant component of what we do. But I think there'll still be a period where businesses improve the alignment, improve the consistency, but we have made a significant effort already to try and derive that.

Karthik on 2023 comparatives or the transition?

Answer
Karthik Thilak (Executives)

Peter, so maybe from -- just to give you a flavor of what's happening from a process-wise. So we are currently running the quarterly closes under IFRS 17. But as you would expect, they always run with a lag, and it's going to be the same in 2023. So we'll still be closing the year-end 2022 under the IFRS 4 basis, so -- and publish results in February.

And then subsequent to that, there will also be year-end of IFRS 17, which happens internally. In the year-end 2022 IFRS 4 disclosures, you would see transitional disclosures, which will mainly cover the transition impacts or the opening balance sheet of IFRS 17 on a 1/1/22 basis. The full year 2022, we currently plan to provide you certain supplements, which is more in April-May time frame. And then as George mentioned, Q1 statement will already be based on IFRS 17 and then the full comparatives of the half year results for '23 that will be published in August, obviously, next year on an IFRS 17 basis with comparatives for '22.

Question and Answer Operator Message
Operator (Operator)

The next question comes from Andrew Sinclair from Bank of America.

Question
Andrew Sinclair (Analysts)

I agree it was a really useful presentation. Two for me, please. Firstly, just looking at Slide 22. I'm just trying to understand some of the impacts and the ability for some of the elements to kind of smooth profits from year-to-year. It looks from that slide, like the net impact of discounting plus PYD looks slightly larger in IFRS 17 than PYD was in an IFRS 4 world. . Is that the right interpretation or otherwise -- or will you be separating out PYD and discount impact going forward? That's my first question.

Second question was just on Life. Really interesting just to understand the different calculation methods. But again, it looks to me, if I look at Slide 34, that's got a lot being amalgamated together in the margin release column. Are we going to be able to see the different sources of earnings between Protection, Unit-linked guaranteed savings and the like or is that still going to be all amalgamated together?

Answer
George Quinn (Executives)

So Andrew, maybe I'll start with a general comment around PYD and then we'll try and touch on as much of the question. I mean I think at this stage, I'm not sure if we can give you a complete picture of everything we intend to do on the breakdowns.

But again, the aim would be that we're going to try and make this as transparent as possible. And again, if you've got particular requests, I mean, please let us know. I can't promise that we can build an enormous supplement. But certainly, if there's a number of topics that are of common interest, rather than ask the question frequently, it just makes sense for us to include it in the supplement.

I mean generally, on PYD, I mean, the concept remains the same. There's probably 2 things that can drive a direction that may be different from what we've had before. So we've got risk adjustment. So that adds an additional element to PYD that hadn't previously existed.

And you would expect that to be beneficial to PYD. There'll be a discounting effect. So the type of PYD is going to impact, I mean, what you'll see in terms of the ultimate effect in the P&L overall from the P&C business. I mean we've run various simulations, both looking at some of the historical information and based on what we would expect to see in the future.

I think at this stage, we would still conclude that we would expect to see PYD in the range that you're familiar with from us that, that leaves some margin for uncertainty through the risk adjustment, but overall, we think that PYD continues to be in the range that you've become familiar with from us. But let me ask Karthik if he can help a bit on those 2 topics. Karthik?

Answer
Karthik Thilak (Executives)

Sure. So on the granularity question, I think the best way to think about it is the components, which are part of the disclosures. So like I mentioned, the income statement itself, it doesn't differentiate between the accounting models or whether it's Life of P&C. So the more the supporting tables, which are notes to the financial statements, they would be much more based on the measurement model. So you would see everything which has a CSM component, so that's pretty much Life, BBA and VFA, they would have real roll-forward tables.

You would see how the risk adjustment and discounting and all of that is flowing through. In the supplements, currently, we are planning to provide you a breakdown, which is also based on the line of business. So you would see the split between Protection, Savings and Unit-Linked and that information should be available for you going forward as well. But that's a supplementary requirement rather than from the disclosure itself.

Question and Answer Operator Message
Operator (Operator)

The next question comes from Andrew Ritchie from Autonomous.

Question
Andrew Ritchie (Analysts)

Echoing my previous colleagues, you definitely are leading the pack so far on only the IFRS 17 presentations I've sat through. First question is on the topic of onerousness, if that's a word. I thought I'd see it mentioned a bit more than it was to it in the slides.

In particular, I would have expected on some long-tail P&C business where you are trying to be ultra-conservative as far as you can be on the risk margin that, that might have become onerous post the risk margin consideration and then will be released over time.

So maybe just clarify where is there -- where are there onerous contracts? And why, in particular, there's none of the P&C business falling within that after application of a conservative risk margin?

Second question, you talked about leverage on Slide 11, I think it is, where you're talking about using a leverage ratio, including CSM and risk adjustment. Is that -- I mean, is that your view or is that broadly what your peers have agreed also and/or, I guess, rating agencies have not sort of opined on it yet?

I mean in principle, over time, I mean, it could probably mean you can run with more debt than they used to under IFRS 4 because you're taking into account in principle more unearned profit. So I mean do you think in principle do support a higher level of debt than what you used to run out?

Answer
George Quinn (Executives)

Thanks, Andrew. So I'm going to go at both of these. I think on the onerousness topic, we've tried to avoid turning business that isn't onerous into onerous business by virtue of the assumptions that we said that are the judgmental elements that we can apply as management. And I think if you look at where we've done much more on risk adjustment, probably more on the Life side.

So the -- I think when we did the initial calibrations, you could see some businesses that we knew were not onerous, that popped up as onerous, too many onerous in this explanation, but you understand, mainly because of the granularity of risk adjustment. So we made it more granular in some cases to try and actually avoid that outcome because the -- obviously, the onerous classification drives the loss component, which does drive a bit of volatility into the results. So we haven't tried to book conservatism in by pushing things into an onerous outcome. We just haven't done that.

I think from an overall perspective, I mean, we feel comfortable with -- I mean, where we've ended up across the P&C business. We don't actually have that much of the book. We meet the definition today. Things can change in the future, but I mean, no reason for us to expect that at this stage. But we haven't used that as a source of conservatism. On the leverage point, so I mean I think you're right, I mean the whole thing is -- I mean I wouldn't say in flux. So I would expect that, that most people would look at CSM and reach the same conclusion that we have around what it is, why it exists and why it would be part of this calculation?

However, I come to a different conclusion from you on the last point. So would this -- I mean, I guess, theoretically, if you manage the business based on that leverage threshold, based on the old basis, and you treated the new one as being identical, you would now have more room. But in general, we look at a wide range of metrics.

I mean the more traditional measures of leverage haven't been things that we've placed too much weight upon. We look more at balance sheet structure. We certainly look at the rating agency requirements, and we would continue to make sure that we respect those. So I think in theory, you're right about the mathematics, but I don't think it changes in any significant way debt capacity.

Question and Answer Operator Message
Operator (Operator)

The next question comes from Dominic O'Mahony from BNP Paribas.

Question
Dominic O''mahony (Analysts)

Really, really helpful presentation. Two, I think, relatively detailed clarification questions. First is, can you just help us understand the significance of using a locked-in discount rate in P&C? I guess as I understand it, you still recognize the impact of movements in interest rates just that it's going to go through OCI, is the difference just that it goes through OCI rather than through the main pace of the income statement?

And then secondly, in terms of the impact of rates moving. As I understand it, but please correct me if I've got this wrong, essentially investment income won't really change if the risk-free rates moves. What will actually happen is for the same business you'll actually see when interest rates go up, I think the combined ratio comes down, but future investment income doesn't because it's just the discounting effect on the liabilities at inception. Is that right? Is that the right way to think about it?

Answer
George Quinn (Executives)

So I'm going to do the second one. I'm going to get Karthik to help on the first one. So I think on the second topic, so investment income moves, yes, they impact the new way the calculation of the combined ratio, what's -- because of the impact of discounting? I think the point though about investment income, not changing. I mean that's only true for the in-force.

So of course, that does dominate the expected investment income. So you won't see a change. But when Karthik answers the first question, you'll see why it doesn't actually have any impact in the overall result. But for the new business that's coming on, so if you write new business in the quarter that attracts a higher discount rate, that will be because interest rates have moved and given the application of ALM, you'll have an expectation that for that part of the book, there will be a higher expectation of yield. But Karthik, on the first one?

Answer
Karthik Thilak (Executives)

So on the first one, as new business is written, they're locked-in interest rates -- so interest rates are locked in the current accident year. And of course, it works on a quarterly basis. So we normally take a year-to-date accident year for -- in the individual quarter and then throw it up for the end of the year.

But what happens is that amount of locked-in discount is then it just locked in. And until the reserve runs off, we don't change the effects within the P&L of the accident year rate, but then IFRS 17 requires us always to compare that with the current rates at each reporting period.

So that's the difference which goes into the OCI. So anything which is the current rate versus the original locked-in rate and given that in certain P&C portfolios, you could still have multiyear periods where the reserves still exist in the book, that difference is what goes through OCI.

Question and Answer Operator Message
Operator (Operator)

The next question comes from William Hawkins from KBW.

Question
William Hawkins (Analysts)

What percentage of the total change in shareholders' funds is likely to go through OCI rather than the P&L in what you would consider a normal year? So George, you made the throwaway remark that maybe you're adding 3 points to your ROE, so we're now at 18%. But presumably, there's going to be a different change in the book value overall, I mean, is it positive or negative, is it very positive or very negative?

And that question then leads to the other one, which is, I mean, how are you going to want us to be thinking about the level of volatility in equity? What is the level of volatility and equity likely to be? Because I mean one of my concerns is that you've quite optimized for stability in your earnings, but there's still potentially a huge amount of volatility that's going to go through the OCI. And if anything, from our point of view, it's going to make life harder because it's volatility on both the asset side and the liability side. And it's volatility that these days, we may have to call economical volatility, even though you've hidden it from the P&L. So again, given that we care about dividend adjusted book value growth, how should we be thinking about the level of volatility in the equity even if it's not in the P&L?

Answer
George Quinn (Executives)

So well, I think the answer to the -- I mean, I think the 3 points is a guide to the impact on book value. So I think you can -- even though we haven't given all the numbers today, I mean, that's a comparison to -- I mean, the ROE under IFRS 17 has been compared to an ROE under IFRS 4, where we already eliminated the impact of changes in gains. So that 3 points is a good guide to what was happening at underlying book value at the point of transition, which in this case is 1/1/22.

As I mentioned earlier, the actual reported book value for IFRS 4 has been moving much more through the course of the year because of interest rates, but that 3 points is unrelated to interest rates.

Level of volatility in equity, so I don't think the -- I mean, IFRS 17 clearly changes some of the volatility dynamics, especially if you've got a very large Life book. If you got most of that Life book in VFA, then it does do quite a bit smoothing. But I think if you look at the types of risk that we prefer, I think the rationale that drives that risk preference holds through IFRS 17 because the things that we have less preference for, I think are the things that are still likely to generate the most significant volatility in equity.

It's obviously closer to the more economic models. It's not quite the same. But the things we're doing around some parts, for example, the back books, I think having less of those elements within the overall portfolio actually improves the transparency, reduces volatility over time and just makes the outcome more predictable.

But there will continue to be volatility in equity. I think for us, I mean, if you look at that, I mean the traditional drivers that exist under IFRS 4, under IFRS 17, key issues are going to be -- I mean, as Karthik described in his presentation, especially around CSM, where we're making changes to assumptions that affect past claim topics rather than future claim topics, I mean, those could be much more significant impacts than we've previously seen under the existing kind of locked-in general approach to Life accounting.

But I think our approach to volatility generally works for the various capital models. It doesn't work to quite the same degree for IFRS 17, but it still works for IFRS 17.

Question and Answer Operator Message
Operator (Operator)

The next question comes from Ashik Musaddi from Morgan Stanley.

Question
Ashik Musaddi (Analysts)

Very helpful presentation. So just a couple of questions on clarification again. I guess this was the second last question from here. The discounting benefit that will go into the investment bucket, investment result bucket, if I understood correctly, you're saying that it will not go there. It will just go directly into OCI, and therefore, the combined ratio that you'll report will just be on the first bucket of the margins, right? Is that understanding correct or am I confused here. So am I -- so that's 1 question.

And secondly, Karthik, I guess, you mentioned that insurance -- because Insurance revenue will be used as a denominator of combined ratio, it will be higher than the current basis. Is that because reinsurance result is not included or once the reinsurance result is included, probably we'll land up at the same level. These are 2 questions. Sorry, just for clarity purposes, nothing else.

Answer
George Quinn (Executives)

Yes, no problem. So I'll take the first one and I'll ask Karthik to up on the second one. So on the first one, if you're confused, I think at some point in this process, everyone gets a bit confused.

I think the way to think of this is that the discounting component impacts the initial recognition of the amount of the claim reserve. So it's definitely a benefit within the overall insurance part of the different groups of margin that Karthik referred to earlier.

So we put the discounting benefit into that combined ratio at the very beginning that we now calculate on an economic basis, but the unwind of that discount, so the build back up from the discounted level to the actual payments that we'll make to our policyholder at some point in the future, that's deemed to be a financing expense, and that goes to offset the actual yield that we earn and on the portfolio.

And that's why Karthik referred to the investment part as now been a margin based for you, but the discounting benefit impacts the Insurance performance. On combined ratio, Karthik.

Answer
Karthik Thilak (Executives)

So the combined ratio will be on a discount to risk-adjusted basis going forward. But then the point is the discount used for that is the locked-in discount rate. To answer your question on why is the Insurance revenue higher, you're right.

So you see in this block where it's the reinsurance result, which is your ceded premiums net of recoveries and the entire reinsurance result is now part of the numerator of the calculation of the combined ratio. So if you think about it from a pure what's the baseline, the denominator, the Insurance revenue, it is before the netting off of the reinsurance premiums or the ceded premium.

So that's why the Insurance revenue is higher compared to current basis because on the IFRS 4 combined ratio. We used the net earned premium, which already adjusts for reinsurance. So yes, long way of saying you were right. So reinsurance results moving into the numerator is why Insurance revenue is larger on the denominator.

Question and Answer Operator Message
Operator (Operator)

The next question comes from Will Hardcastle from UBS.

Question
William Hardcastle (Analysts)

A quick one on onerous contracts. Just trying to understand the level of granularity. You gave a good example there on Life that you've added a bit more. I guess on the P&C side, are we talking sort of big picture line of business? Are we talking region or are we going line of business per region, if you see what I mean, to try and understand how big if one moved into onerous contracts, how big a delta could be?

And something from a presentation this morning which we were treated to. On liability reconciliations, we should get a bit more granularity on that apparently. I'm just trying to understand if that's a sort of a regional benefit that you'll be providing that from a disclosure-wise?

Answer
George Quinn (Executives)

So Will, can I ask you to explain a bit more what the second point was because I didn't really understand what that was?

Question
William Hardcastle (Analysts)

Yes, sure. What we've told as we should be getting a sort of a claim reserve development, a liability, I guess, development, including how the onerous contracts moves year-on-year, start year to end year, key moving parts by that, and it's not just by sort of a group level liability total that should be more disclosure development apparently.

Answer
George Quinn (Executives)

Okay. I'm going to ask my expert to help, Karthik.

Answer
Karthik Thilak (Executives)

I can also start with the first question. So onerous contracts, they are tested at the unit of account level. So now what is unit of account? In our case, it would be the line of business, but at an entity level, in certain cases or in an individual underwriting year basis, right? So the onerous contracts are tested for every period at the cohort level. So you can see what is related to the current period and to the prior period. So it's much lower than the region, but it's LOB at an underwriting year level.

On the liability reconciliation, I mean, if I understand your question correctly, so for the P&C business where we apply the PAA model, there will be disclosures detailing out the liability for incurred claims, which in the future is your nominal reserves discounting risk adjustment and it will also be presented both on a gross and on a ceded basis. Probably that's the additional granularity, which comes with IFRS 17.

In case of onerous contracts, we do provide separately a loss component where it is relevant, but that loss component is not even part of the liability for incurred claims. So it will flow through the loss ratio in the combined ratio, but you would also get much more granularity on the loss component itself. So you think about liability for incurred trains where a roll-forward is available and then the loss component will be visible. Now given we don't publish results on a lower level, so you would see that on a regional P&C level, of course.

Question and Answer Operator Message
Operator (Operator)

The next question comes from Vinit Malhotra from Mediobanca.

Question
Vinit Malhotra (Analysts)

Two questions for me. The one -- the first one is, at the moment, at least I attach or some of us attach a lot of importance to underlying loss ratios or underlying combined ratio trends. And just on the Slide 22, you mentioned the importance of risk adjustment to the current year or the current accident year numbers.

Obviously, the bar chart doesn't seem to show much. I mean should we anticipate not a major change to these very important metrics as far as I look at the stock. So just any comment on underlying loss ratio, please? That's the first question.

Second question is just, George, we talked about how the business is not changing from quite an expensive project. So what's the benefit of this exercise you see? I mean 1 benefit could be that more granularity leads to more discipline in the group. Do you foresee that happening? Do you expect or hope that to happen? And any comment on the positive benefits of IFRS 17 for you would be helpful.

Answer
George Quinn (Executives)

Yes. Thanks, Vinit. I'm going to try to avoid the temptation to be cynical on the second question. So I mean, I said in the earlier remarks that Karthik and the team certainly feel that more than I do, we've been working on this for a long time.

And if you remember, we've had a number of planned implementation dates that have slipped along the way. So not so long ago, the intention would have been that we'd be doing IFRS 17 already. Having said that, I think the -- I mean what benefits do we expect from this? I think -- I mean, Karthik laid out some of those in his presentation. So I think within the detail that gives you more of a view of the business and the way that we would typically view it from an economic perspective.

And of course, it's that, that we use to determine what our preferences are. So I think it does help align the external communication with some of the internal management thinking. I think in terms of the industry, I mean, you know as well as I do, I can't imagine that we have any significant peer that's not doing something that is like this in some way, shape or form and hasn't actually been doing this for a very long time.

So I don't expect that to be a big driver of a change in behavior. It may be different in smaller parts of the market. So again, I think there is an element of discipline that it can help, but I certainly wouldn't overstate it. It has been an expensive project. We're obviously going to be compliant, which is very important to us.

And I think -- I mean probably the most important thing. Certainly if you had the CFO of one of our major business units, especially one of the European ones, we've used this to try and integrate more the different things we have to do, whether it's regulatory, internal economic capital models and now the accounting.

And it just helps avoid too many conflicting signals. So I think there is a benefit to this thing that it will feel quite intangible for a while, but I think just helps improve consistency across all the key metrics that we use.

On the first part of your question, I think consistent with what I said to Andrew earlier, for the P&C business, we haven't put so much risk adjustment on, but we would transform something that we believe to be a good piece of business into something that is recognized at a very conservative level to produce profits in the future rather than profits now. So -- I mean, it's important, but it doesn't change any of the decision-making, the risk adjustment. So I think you need to see it in that context.

Question and Answer Operator Message
Operator (Operator)

[Operator Instructions] We have a follow-up question from Thomas Fossard from HSBC.

Question
Thomas Fossard (Analysts)

Two questions on my side. The first one would be related to your IFRS 9, 17 shareholders' equity. I'm still struggling to understand why it should be lower than the IFRS 4 since all the comments of your European peers have been highlighting that actually their shareholders' equity under IFRS 17 should be higher and actually should be not so dissimilar from Solvency II on funds. So I'm still struggling to understand why your shareholders' equity is down. Maybe you can bring a bit more granularity around that.

The second question would be related on the reserve strength and -- because actually IFRS 17 is based on base estimates. But we know that actually your holding reserves at the local entity level and then you've got also on top, you've got group book reserves under the current regime. And I wanted to better understand where all these buffers went or how have you been able to recycle part of them and where this is going to show up in the balance sheet? It is just a -- it is just capturing the risk adjustment or does it show up somewhere else?

Answer
George Quinn (Executives)

Yes. Thanks, Thomas. I mean I think the first part of the question is quite difficult to answer because I think, as I mentioned in my part of the presentation, you get a very different answer this year depending on which date you select.

So if you take the start of the year, there's an impact on equity. If you pick the middle of the year, there's almost no impact on equity. If you pick the end of the year, it's entirely possible that IFRS 17 equity will be higher. I think that's why we've tried to, as we went through the presentation, to identify what the drivers have been.

So for example, the P&C business, as you'd expect, there's more equity. And on the Life side, because of what we've done on risk adjustment and on CSM, there's less equity. But it's hard to make a comparison to the peers because I haven't seen the peers yet. I don't know what date they make the comments of. But I mean, the presentation we've made tries to give you a sense of where we see it come from.

On the reserve strength topic, so IFRS 17 obviously requires our best-estimate approach. I mean the -- I mean the process doesn't quite work like this, but I'll use it as a simplification. So I mean essentially, under the existing approach, we have things that I know you might classify as more prudent or more buffer-like, we remove them and we replace them with different components.

So you see here and as Karthik mentioned during his presentation, we have a new item, which is the allowance for limited historical experience, which is designed to reflect some of the things that were incorporated in some of the same elements that we had under IFRS 4. Definition is slightly different, requirements are slightly different.

So you end up in the same place, maybe for slightly different reasons. But -- I mean, it's been our aim throughout where possible and where consistent with the IFRS 17 requirements to maintain a similar level of reserves. But even though it's not completely apparent on the slide, there has been -- some things were removed on IFRS 4, and they've been replaced by things under IFRS 17 that might be similar in quantum, but they're slightly different in definition.

Question and Answer Operator Message
Operator (Operator)

The next question comes from [ Francisco Sebastian ] from [ Wellington Management ].

Question
Unknown Analyst (Analysts)

My question is related to the interactions between IFRS 9 and 17 related to what others have asked before. In particular, as with IFRS 9, there is all these changes to the treatment of stocks, some mutual funds, expected credit losses that might introduce possibly some income or P&L volatility. .

Do you expect to absorb that or to just show that income statement volatility or maybe change your asset allocation? Or maybe is there something in IFRS 17 that would allow observing that income statement volatility coming from, again, primarily stocks, mutual funds and expected credit losses?

Answer
George Quinn (Executives)

So I think the -- I mean, if you look at how we approach the business today, I mean we already have volatility in results. We have impairments. We have realized gains and losses, which, of course, are determined by things other than market movements.

So there's an unpredictable element to it already. But when it comes to making decisions about what we do or what we see is the underlying performance, what we do with the actual performance outcome, we tend to look through that. And I don't see that changing in the future. So -- I mean, hence, the commentary around the lack of change to a number of the key policies that we apply to the outcomes.

So I don't think -- we're not overly concerned about this. It will be transparent, so you'll be able to see it. You'll have an external market reference point, so it should make sense when it happens. It can't happen because suddenly we happen to realize a gain or a loss on something that would not have been entirely visible to you. So it definitely introduces more volatility into the P&L overall.

But I think given just a general approach that we're looking for what we believe for the underlying performance and using the strength of the balance sheet to deal with the remainder, there's nothing in this change that would alter that philosophy.

Question and Answer Operator Message
Operator (Operator)

The next question is a follow-up from Andrew Sinclair from Bank of America.

Question
Andrew Sinclair (Analysts)

A couple more from me. Firstly, it was just on tax. Can you give us any color on what tax impacts you expect as book values get marked down historic accounting profits backed out, will you get a deferred tax asset and how can that be utilized?

And secondly, just on kind of the loss of net earned premium as a metric. How do you propose the track changes in retention and reinsurance programs evolving over time?

Answer
George Quinn (Executives)

Yes. Thanks, Andy. So I mean the first one is an interesting one because the -- not every jurisdiction has entirely laid out the rules at this point. I mean based on what we've seen and you know the predominant weight of where our earnings come from. So of course, the taxation rules there are not going to change and the accounting is not going to change there.

So again, we're in the fortunate position that for a very large part of our book, none of this changes things, whether it's on the underlying economics or even on the tax topic. Now having said that, though, we do have other jurisdictions that haven't concluded and haven't made clear what the transition impacts are going to be.

I mean -- but we don't expect to be significantly disadvantaged or significantly advantaged in that process. At this point, we still expect to see the taxation levels come out consistent with our current guidance based on what we know at the moment. But -- I mean, there's still some risk because not every jurisdiction has completely confirmed how it's going to work. So as we learn more on that, we'll update you. But for the time being, no change to guidance around the tax charge.

On the net earned premium topic and as someone who has personally struggled with the new combined ratio for, well, it seems like years already, I still look at the thing and I mean, I guess part of the problem of experience, I'm very experienced in one particular measure and my brain finds it hard to find the plasticity to cope with a new one.

Having said that, I think we'll adapt over time. I think on the business driver metrics, I think actually, the gross topic is actually a better way to look at the issue that you just mentioned. So the -- I mean, Karthik, in his presentation, described 2 changes that we're going to have. So I mean, our premium numbers will move to be net of single parent captives, that reduces the distortion that's been a bit of a challenge for us in the past anyway.

But then I think when you separate the reinsurance impact out from what's happening on the primary side with the business that's coming into you, I mean that's how we do it already, to be honest. And actually, I think once -- certainly, I get used to this, we all get used to this, the separation is actually quite helpful.

It creates another bit of volatility in the components of the result, but actually looking at gross incoming movements from clients is a better way to judge retention and other business drivers than maybe the net is at times.

Question and Answer Operator Message
Operator (Operator)

[Operator Instructions] Also, the next one is the follow-up from Peter Eliot from Kepler Cheuvreux.

Question
Peter Eliot (Analysts)

It's just a follow-up on Vinit's question actually on the sort of cost benefit because you discussed the benefits. But I'm just wondering as well how the costs will develop from here? I mean, obviously, there's been a huge cost to date, and I'm just wondering what the sort of the annual cost of maintaining it, what you might expect them to be going forward?

And secondly, given the comments that you feel very well prepared for this. I'm just wondering, could it possibly have been introduced earlier or more efficiently or do you think it's appropriate to take the time that we have?

Answer
George Quinn (Executives)

Thanks, Peter. The -- I think on the first one, the annual cost -- I'm not going to let Karthik answer that question for. I mean, as I mentioned in my part of the presentation, we've tried to do a number of things to improve the efficiencies. It's certainly a more complex basis.

I think there are elements in the -- if you look at things in the longer term and you think about the skills that are required, whether you're in actuarial or in the far financial accounting world or treasury or planning and performance teams, all these skills start to align more maybe than they have in the past.

And I think it creates interesting possibilities for the future that we haven't yet been able to think about because we've had to get the thing finished. I think at the margin, I don't expect it to be cheaper to run this than it was in the past. But given the targets that my boss has given me, I don't expect it to be significantly more expensive either.

On the second question, I think the -- you have to ask the IASB. I think they would have -- they'll have views, I'm sure, on the process. I think the -- I mean, I guess whether you ask the industry, the preparers, the standard setters, the users, I'm sure it could have been done quicker, but it would have required all of us to have reached a conclusion just quicker and more rapidly.

And we didn't, for various reasons. One or more of these stakeholder groups wanted it to take more time in favor of an outcome that they preferred, and therefore, we are where we are. The -- we could have saved some money, if it be quicker, that's for sure. But I mean, I'm not big on kind of could have, should have, would have. We got it done. I think we're ready for what comes next year where, as you said it. I know you're repeating what we said, but we feel we're well prepared. We've invested in this thing to make sure we do it properly. And hopefully, that will show in what we do next year.

Question and Answer Operator Message
Operator (Operator)

Ladies and gentlemen, that was the last question. I would now like to turn the conference back over to Jon Hocking for any closing remarks.

Answer
Jonathan Hocking (Executives)

Thank you very much for everybody for participating in your questions. If anyone's got any follow-up questions, myself or the rest of the IR team will be available. Thank you very much.

Question and Answer Operator Message
Operator (Operator)

Ladies and gentlemen, the conference is now over. Thank you for choosing Chorus Call, and thank you for participating in the conference. You may now disconnect your lines. Goodbye.

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