AM Best Upgrades Credit Ratings of ELCO Mutual Life and Annuity
AM Best has upgraded the Financial Strength Rating to B+ (Good) from B (Fair) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) to "bbb-" (Good) from "bb+" (Fair) of ELCO Mutual Life and Annuity (ELCO) (Lake Bluff, IL). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) has been revised to stable from positive.
The ratings reflect ELCO's balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as adequate, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and marginal enterprise risk management.
The primary drivers behind the rating upgrades are ELCO's increasing risk-adjusted capitalization and improved asset quality, with contributions from its favorable operating earnings in recent years. Although the company faced some distribution challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, its deposit-type contracts and assets are expected to continue to expand in the near future. The company also is seeking to utilize strategic relationships to support endeavors such as minimizing investment risk and improving underwriting. ELCO also became a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago in November 2020. This was done to mitigate liquidity risk and provides the opportunity for additional business strategy through lending and borrowing options.
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