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Zurich Financial prepares for property market losses

Zurich Financial Services has ended property lending in Britain and the Republic of Ireland, where real estate markets are among the worst hit by the financial crisis.

This content was published on July 16, 2010 - 11:36

The insurance company also sharply increased provisions by $330 million (SFr344 million) to shield against loan losses there.

Zurich said on Friday that both property markets were continuing to deteriorate. It had been financing commercial property developments through its subsidiaries Dunbar Bank and Zurich Bank.

"Ending this business [in Britain and Ireland] is the better option at the moment," Zurich spokesman Angel Serna said, adding that the group did not have similar operations elsewhere.

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