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Sovereign Rated ''A'' For Excellent

MEDIA RELEASE
11 November 2003

Sovereign Rated “A” For Excellent
Positive Outlook for Sovereign from AM Best

Sovereign has been awarded a financial strength rating of A (Excellent) with a “positive outlook” by AM Best, the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating information source.

“The ‘positive outlook’ attributed to Sovereign by AM Best reflects the solid year of growth Sovereign has achieved in a difficult market and is an indication of another very strong year to come,” says Simon Swanson, Managing Director, Sovereign.

“The rating assures our customers, advisers and their clients that Sovereign is one of the most robust financial service providers in New Zealand. We are proud to be consistently considered one of this country’s top rated companies, particularly by such an authoritative global source.

“Under the challenging market conditions over the last few years, Sovereign has been working hard to retain and grow its leadership position in the financial services market over the period.

“Sovereign has a strong focus on delivering value, security and quality financial products to New Zealanders, while ensuring the highest levels of service continue to be provided” he says.

Ends. Background information follows.

http://www.ambest.com

Note: This media release is available at www.sovereign.co.nz

Sovereign is New Zealand’s largest life insurance company, its largest home-loan lender outside the five major trading banks, and fifth largest investment company. We meet the financial service needs of over half a million customers. More information on Sovereign can be found at www.sovereign.co.nz
Sovmr78

BACKGROUND INFORMATION – AM Best Company

11 November 2003

A.M. Best Company is the leading provider of ratings, news, data and financial information on the insurance industry globally.

A Best's Financial Strength Rating is an independent opinion, based on a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative evaluation, of a company's balance sheet strength, operating performance and business profile.

A Best's Financial Strength Rating (FSR) is an opinion of an insurer's ability to meet its obligations to policyholders.

See: http://www.ambest.com.

SOVMR78

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