Life insurers’ mortgage loan portfolio increases
In the fourth quarter of 2013, the residential mortgage loan portfolio of Dutch life insurers increased by EUR 4 billion to EUR 41 billion, figures released by De Nederlandsche Bank show, reinforcing the growth registered earlier in 2013.
The mortgage portfolio of life insurance companies has been growing steadily since 2007, from EUR 20 billion at end-2007 to EUR 33 billion at end-2012. 2013, and particularly the fourth quarter, saw a marked growth acceleration. Half of the 2013 portfolio expansion of well over EUR 8 billion occurred in the fourth quarter. At end-2013, outstanding mortgage loans totalled EUR 41 billion, i.e. 11.5% of total assets (2007: 7%). After adding indirect investments in Dutch residential mortgages – through investment in debt certificates issued by securitisation vehicles – the mortgage portfolio amounts to EUR 44 billion.
Life insurers: net residential mortgage transactions
Part of the 2013 growth was driven by new net residential mortgage loans, supported by newly positioned products. However, the majority of the expansion is accounted for by existing mortgage loan portfolios shifting to life insurers. In some cases, for instance, residential mortgage loans that had been securitised earlier were re-entered in the balance sheet because of changes in accounting standards. Other cases involved mortgages acquired from associated parties. Although the mortgage lender is now a different entity, the outstanding amount from the homeowner’s perspective is still the same.