THE HAGUE, The Netherlands, July 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
- AEGON's response to the ruling of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal with respect to Koersplan products
In accordance with what AEGON has consistently maintained, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal acknowledges that a specific AEGON unit-linked product (Koersplan) sold during the period 1989-1998 entailed an obligation on the part of customers to pay a premium for a death benefit.
The Court, however, has ruled that AEGON should have more clearly informed its customers about the amount of premium which the company charged in relation to the embedded death benefit. AEGON acknowledges that its level of communication could have been better at the time. AEGON has subsequently taken steps to substantially improve its communications with customers.
In its decision, the Court has ruled that customers are required to pay a reasonable premium. However, the Court has defined what it considers to be a reasonable premium based on one arbitrary industry example, which AEGON believes is not representative. It is AEGON's view that, based on the arguments presented, the decision arrived at by the Court is not justified.
AEGON has decided to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court in the Netherlands. Today's ruling of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal does not have any impact on individual customers.
The Court also refers to the agreements entered into with customer interest groups regarding unit-linked products. AEGON would like to emphasize that any such arrangements have to do with cost levels within products, and are not related the existence of a death benefit, or any premiums that would be involved.
This is an unofficial translation of a press release issued in Dutch by AEGON The Netherlands.
As an international life insurance, pension and asset management company based in The Hague, AEGON has businesses in over twenty markets in the Americas, Europe and Asia. AEGON companies employ approximately 27,000 people and have some 40 million customers across the globe.
Full year Key figures - EUR Q1 2011 2010 Underlying earnings before tax 414 million 1.8 billion New life sales 501 million 2.1 billion Gross deposits 7.4 billion 33 billion Revenue-generating investments (end of period) 400 billion 413 billion
The statements contained in this document that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements as defined in the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following are words that identify such forward-looking statements: aim, believe, estimate, target, intend, may, expect, anticipate, predict, project, counting on, plan, continue, want, forecast, goal, should, would, is confident, will, and similar expressions as they relate to our company. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which merely reflect company expectations at the time of writing. Actual results may differ materially from expectations conveyed in forward-looking statements due to changes caused by various risks and uncertainties. Such risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to the following:
- Changes in general economic conditions, particularly in the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom;
- Changes in the performance of financial markets, including emerging markets, such as with regard to:
- The frequency and severity of defaults by issuers in our fixed income investment portfolios; and
- The effects of corporate bankruptcies and/or accounting restatements on the financial markets and the resulting decline in the value of equity and debt securities we hold;
- The frequency and severity of insured loss events;
- Changes affecting mortality, morbidity, persistence and other factors that may impact the profitability of our insurance products;
- Changes affecting interest rate levels and continuing low or rapidly changing interest rate levels;
- Changes affecting currency exchange rates, in particular the EUR/USD and EUR/GBP exchange rates;
- Increasing levels of competition in the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and emerging markets;
- Changes in laws and regulations, particularly those affecting our operations, the products we sell, and the attractiveness of certain products to our consumers;
- Regulatory changes relating to the insurance industry in the jurisdictions in which we operate;
- Acts of God, acts of terrorism, acts of war and pandemics;
- Changes in the policies of central banks and/or governments;
- Lowering of one or more of our debt ratings issued by recognized rating organizations and the adverse impact such action may have on our ability to raise capital and on our liquidity and financial condition;
- Lowering of one or more of insurer financial strength ratings of our insurance subsidiaries and the adverse impact such action may have on the premium writings, policy retention, profitability of its insurance subsidiaries and liquidity;
- The effect of the European Union's Solvency II requirements and other regulations in other jurisdictions affecting the capital we are required to maintain;
- Litigation or regulatory action that could require us to pay significant damages or change the way we do business;
- Customer responsiveness to both new products and distribution channels;
- Competitive, legal, regulatory, or tax changes that affect the distribution cost of or demand for our products;
- The impact of acquisitions and divestitures, restructurings, product withdrawals and other unusual items, including our ability to integrate acquisitions and to obtain the anticipated results and synergies from acquisitions;
- Our failure to achieve anticipated levels of earnings or operational efficiencies as well as other cost saving initiatives;
- The non-fulfillment of the conditions precedent underlying the agreement to divest Transamerica Reinsurance.
Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the company are described in the company's filings with Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report on Form 20-F. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this document. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the company's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
Willem van den Berg
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