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A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of BMO Life Assurance Company
[November 10, 2017]

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of BMO Life Assurance Company

A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of "a" of BMO Life Assurance Company (BMOLAC) (Toronto, Canada). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. BMOLAC is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of Montreal (BMO) through BMO Life Insurance Company, an intermediate holding company.

BMOLAC underwrites a full suite of individual life insurance products including term life, whole life, universal life, critical illness, structured settlements and annuities. The company also has focused on its pension risk transfer business for recent growth. The company distributes its products across Canada through independent agents and in the direct-to-consumer market.

The ratings reflect BMOLAC's positive operating performance, more-than-adequate risk-adjusted capitalization, diversified product offerings and its commitment to enterprise risk management. BMOLAC has experienced capital growth in recent years, as it maintains a solid market position in certain niche product lines.

Offsetting rating factors include the challenges BMOLAC faces to increase its market share and achieve meaningful scale in Canada's highly concentrated life insurance marketplace. The ratings also reflect the earnings challenges associated with the current low interest rate environment and the uncertain economic environment.

A.M. Best also notes the company's asset liability duration mismatch given the low interest rates and the long-term, interest-sensitive nature of the company's business.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on A.M. Best's website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see A.M. Best's Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best's Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best's Credit Ratings and A.M. Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best's Credit Ratings and A.M. Best Rating Action Press Releases.

A.M. Best is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit

Copyright © 2017 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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