NorthStandard has maintained its financial strength A rating under new assessment criteria introduced by S&P Global Ratings.

The influential ratings agency said its revised capital model criteria did not change its view of NorthStandard.

The mutual — which was formed through a merger just over a year ago to become the industry’s second-largest protection and indemnity provider — was also given a stable outlook.

“The stable outlook indicates that we expect NorthStandard to maintain capital adequacy in line with our 99.99% confidence level under our model and that its underwriting results will be close to or better than breakeven over the next 12-24 months,” S&P Global Ratings said.

S&P Global Ratings’ new financial strength assessment criteria has not gone down well with all P&I clubs.

The American Club recently complained a downgrade under the new rating criteria did not accurately reflect its financial position.

NorthStandard reported a rise in premium income to over $825m for the insurance year ending 20 February, against a combined $796m when the North of England and Standard Club merged 12 months earlier. Mutual tonnage entered with the club increased to 256m gt.

NorthStandard said it is expecting to break even on its underwriting performance this year after raising rates at the recent annual P&I renewal.

“The award of S&P’s A rating is further vindication of the financial strength of the merged group, at a time when entered tonnage and revenues from new and existing members are also growing,” said chief financial officer Nick Jelley.