June 3, 2020 / 4:39 PM / a month ago

Manulife CEO says lower rates for longer is 'new headwind'

TORONTO, June 3 (Reuters) - Manulife Financial Corp’s said an environment of lower interest rates for longer is a new headwind, proving a challenge for the insurer, which did not anticipate the ‘significant’ drop in long-term rates when planning for 2020 and 2021.

“A new era of lower rates for longer is a new headwind we’ll have to grapple with,” Roy Gori said at the S&P Global Insurance Conference. “When we did our planning for 2020 and 2021, we never really anticipated the significant drop in the longer end of the curve as much as we’ve actually seen.”

That has required Manulife to “adjust and respond and adapt” by changing pricing and products and increasing efficiency, in part through better adoption of technology, he said. (Reporting By Nichola Saminather Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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