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The Impact of the Financial Crisis on the Insurance Sector and Policy Responses

image of The Impact of the Financial Crisis on the Insurance Sector and Policy Responses

This special report assesses the impact of the crisis on the insurance sector and reviews policy responses within OECD countries. It is based to a large extent on a quantitative and qualitative questionnaire that was circulated to OECD countries in 2009. The report shows that generallythe insurance sector demonstrated resilience to the crisis, though with some variation across the OECD, and concludes with a number of policy conclusions.

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Introduction

The financial turmoil, which started with the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the United States and whose effects clearly became global in mid-2007 with the collapse of several large international hedge funds and the near-collapse of a major industrial bank in Germany, followed by the breakdown of interbank lending markets in August 2007, has had important, continued impacts on the economy, including the insurance sector. Events took a turn for the worse when, during the second half of 2008, the crisis exploded into a global credit crunch following the collapse of major global financial institutions. The ensuing recession officially became, by April 2009, the second longest since the Great Depression. Following a fall of 2.1% in the first quarter of 2009, gross domestic product in the OECD area stabilised in the second and third quarters according to preliminary estimates.

English

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