Insurer Aviva has today announced that European agreement on the implementation of the Solvency II regulations has allowed it immediately to commit £500m to invest in UK infrastructure projects.
The firm said that the funding - the first tranche of a £25bn investment commitment agreed with government by a group of six insurers earlier this month - was now available for transport projects or utilities upgrades, as well as new schools and hospitals.
Aviva's group chief executive Mark Wilson said the company was already examining a number of investment opportunities following confirmation from the European Union that Solvency II capital requirements will be implemented from January 2016.
The investment will be in addition to the £5bn of assets Aviva already owns in UK infrastructure, which include a dental school and hospital in Birmingham and construction of 11 new fire stations in Staffordshire.
Wilson said the firm was contributing to the building blocks of the UK's future.
'We'll focus on investments which are good for our policyholders, good for society and good for the UK economy,' he added.
'As a direct consequence of the recent agreement on Solvency II, we now have the political and regulatory foundations to invest in the country's infrastructure. The government recognises we cannot build on shifting sands and it is essential that the government, the regulators and the EU act together.'
Financial secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid welcomed the announcement, which he said was part of the UK insurance industry's growth plan.
'The insurance sector is a leading example of the UK's position as a centre for global finance and we intend to keep it that way.'Just two weeks ago six major insurers announced their intention to invest at least £25bn in infrastructure projects, and I am very happy to see Aviva has already allocated £500m for growth boosting projects across the UK and look forward to working with them to support this investment.'