George QUINN, Group Chief Financial Officer, said: "2020 demonstrated the strength of the Group's balance sheet. This strength allowed us to continue to support our customers when they needed it most, while rewarding shareholders with an attractive dividend. We will continue to focus on optimizing the use of our capital to further improve the Group's financial performance."
The Group Swiss Solvency Test (SST) ratio was 182% as per January 1, 2021, compared with 222% in the previous year. This decline reflects a deteriorating economic environment, in particular lower interest rates and increased financial market volatility.
According to the report, the Group also maintained its strong rating level in 2020. As per December 31, 2020, the insurance financial strength rating of Zurich Insurance Company Ltd, the main operating entity of the Group, was "AA-/Positive" by S&P Global Ratings, "Aa3/Stable" by Moody's, and "A+(Superior)/Stable" by A.M. Best. A few months later, on March 15, 2021, S&P Global Ratings upgraded the Group rating to "AA/Stable".
The Financial Condition Report is a regulatory disclosure required by law and specified by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA and provides comprehensive information about the solvency and financial strength of the Group. It includes information about business performance, governance, Zurich's risk profile, valuation for solvency purposes and a description of how the Group manages capital.