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Sampo received 4 shareholder questions concerning the Annual General Meeting 2021.
Sampo has, in connection with its strategy update, openly stated that it did not foresee the regulatory tsunami for banks or that interest rates would remain so low and for so long. What about cryptocurrencies? Does Sampo think that cryptocurrencies are just nonsense or what is Sampo’s view on Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology?
According to the prudent person principle laid down in Solvency II and in the Insurance Companies Act in Finland, insurance companies may only invest in assets the risks of which they can identify, measure, monitor, manage, control and report properly. The company must take these risks into account when assessing its overall solvency needs. An insurance company is required to invest its assets in a way which ensures their security, convertibility to cash, returns, and accessibility.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies do not meet these requirements applicable to Sampo as the ultimate parent company of an insurance group. Sampo has not invested in cryptocurrencies.
What comes to blockchain technology, it is possible that over the coming years, the technology will be more common in the insurance and financial sectors providing different opportunities. As the leading Nordic player in digitalisation, If monitors different technological trends closely.
Nordea, of which Sampo owns a large share, has banned its employees from trading in cryptocurrencies. Do Sampo’s employees / Board members have a similar ban?
Sampo employees or Board members do not have a ban on trading in cryptocurrencies.
Does Sampo or its subsidiaries (for example Mandatum’s wealth management) offer cryptocurrency investments (direct or indirect) to customers interested in them?
Mandatum does not offer direct or indirect cryptocurrency investments to its customers. It’s possible to trade in securities related to cryptocurrencies through Mandatum Trader, which runs on Saxo Bank’s trading platform.
Insurance giant AXA announced (release 15 April 2021) that it will accept Bitcoins as a payment option for insurance bills. Is If involved in this development in any way?
If has no plans to start accepting Bitcoin as a payment option and If’s customers have not made such requests.
Paying insurance bills with Bitcoins would cause additional costs for customers. According to AXA’s release mentioned in the question, paying bills with Bitcoin causes a cost of 1.75 per cent for the customer, since AXA does not receive Bitcoins on its balance sheet, but those are immediately converted into Swiss francs.