Solid capital base protected thanks to timely measures | Swiss Life can ground the further implementation of its strategy on a solid capital base: As part of its active capital management policy, Swiss Life introduced a number of measures, particularly from September 2008 onwards, to shield its equity from the negative repercussions of the turbulence on the financial markets. Balance sheet risks were drastically reduced, the current share buyback programme was discontinued, and the proposed distribution of profit was significantly reduced. Furthermore, Swiss Life made a timely decision to utilise the possibility created by the International Accounting Standards Board to post certain bonds at market value to the IFRS balance sheet as per 1 July 2008 under the position of loans; these bonds had previously been carried as financial assets available for sale but for which a liquid market no longer exists. This eliminates the short-term impact of the fluctuations in the market value of these securities due to the illiquid market situation. This better reflects the liabilities associated with these investments and the long-term focus of the business. In the fourth quarter of 2008, Swiss Life structured its investments to generate earnings exceeding the benefits guaranteed to clients, even though market conditions were difficult and interest rates remained low.



Support and prevention