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2016-04-18

Germany and Sweden are the two EU countries where life insurers face the biggest gap between market rates and guaranteed rates. Munchau

The business models of German financial institutions depend critically on the presence of positive nominal interest rates. 

Rightly or wrongly, Wolfgang Schäuble regards the policies of the ECB as an attack on Germany’s economic model, which is heavily dependent on the viability of the country’s peculiar banking system

German life insurers have to guarantee a minimum rate of return, which is now 1.25 per cent a year. 

This is hard to do when the yield of the 10-year German government bond is only 0.13 per cent. 

Wolfgang Münchau, FT 17 April 17  2016 

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