From a historical perspective, interest rates have been on a downward trend over the past four decades. In Europe, the financial and sovereign debt crises and the ensuing weak macroeconomic environment – characterised by persistent output gap, low growth and excessively low inflation – together with the expansionary monetary policy responses, in particular QE, have contributed to a further decline in interest rates. One of the key concerns is the extent to which a lasting low interest rate environment has the potential to undermine the ability of insurance undertakings and pension funds to fulfil their long-term financial promises to policy holders and beneficiaries. The consequences are likely to be widely varied across companies, largely depending on business models, balance sheet structures and risk management strategies. Some of these institutional investors are also amongst the main sellers, i.e. the principal counterparties, in the asset purchase programme implemented by the ECB.
Registration desk will be open from 12.30 onwards. Participation is exceptionally free of charge.