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The Treasury yesterday granted preliminary approval for some of the nation's largest insurance companies to receive capital infusions under the government's Troubled Assets Relief Program, Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams said.
Recipients are Hartford, Prudential, Allstate, Ameriprise, Lincoln National and Principal Financial Group, he said. The insurers notified yesterday are among hundreds of financial institutions in the pipeline "that are being reviewed and funded as appropriate on a rolling basis," Williams said.
The money could shore up the life insurance industry, which plays a major role in the economy and has been weakened by the financial crisis. In addition to paying death benefits, life insurers deliver retirement income in the form of annuities. They are big investors in corporate bonds and commercial real estate.
Hartford said it received preliminary approval for an infusion of $3.4 billion, the full amount it estimated last year that it might obtain.
Until now, the government had used the capital purchase program to support the struggling banking industry. With the recent completion of stress tests assessing the continued needs of the banking system, the government was in a clearer position to address insurers.