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Higher interest rate risk pressures HSBC Life SG's capital buffers

S&P Global Ratings expects the insurer’s relationship with its parent company will remain strategic due to its regional exposure.

HSBC Life (Singapore) is expected to maintain strong capital and earnings through 2026, with prudent risk control measures and potential capital support from the parent group.

S&P Global Ratings said its business diversity and expansion of the product suite are anticipated to support market position and growth opportunities.

Profitability is expected to gradually improve over the next three to five years as integration-related costs subside and scale efficiencies are realised.

The insurer's strategic importance to Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp. (HSBC) is likely to persist, with Asia being a key growth region for the group.

The insurer's capital buffers face pressure from higher interest rate risk requirements under the revised capital adequacy framework.

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However, the explicit recognition of diversification benefits and higher total adjusted capital (TAC) mitigate this impact.

HSBC Life (Singapore)'s capital base has exceeded $1b, and TAC is expected to grow further with retained earnings, no longer moderating the view on its capital and earnings strength.

The stable outlook reflects that of its parent group, HSBC, signifying the insurer's strategic importance to HSBC through alignment with its regional wealth management strategy.

Downside risks include potential rating downgrades if HSBC’s ratings are lowered or if HSBC Life (Singapore) experiences a substantial deterioration in its capital and earnings position.

Upside potential for upgrades is contingent on HSBC's ratings improvement or a significant strengthening of HSBC Life (Singapore)'s strategic importance within the group.

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