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Bancassurance News - Autumn 2009 

Aviva and Barclays renew household insurance distribution deal to 2015

Aviva and Barclays have announced the renewal of an existing contract for Aviva to continue to be the sole provider of household insurance to the bank's retail banking customers in the UK until 2015. This renewed deal follows on from the signing of the original contract in 2005. The two partners state that they are committed to driving product and proposition development and that they will continue to provide and build exceptional products and propositions for Barclays’ customers. Moreover, they believe that they will both benefit from combining the insurer’s scale and expertise in underwriting, product, marketing and claims servicing with Barclays extensive base of 14 million retail customers and excellent distribution channels.

AXA secures commercial lines bancassurance agreement with HSBC

In a second major development in non-life bancassurance in the UK, AXA Insurance has announced that it has secured a ten year partnership with HSBC to provide insurance solutions to HSBC’s small and medium-sized business customers. This applies to new customers from the beginning of 2010 and to existing customers at renewal. AXA’s business insurance provides a range of property, casualty and motor products, specially tailored to the needs of small to medium sized entities while HSBC has stated that insurance is of ‘huge strategic importance’ for it, and that this new agreement is intended to grow this business.

UBI Banca sells controlling stake in non-life insurance subsidiary

Fortis and BNP Paribas Assurance have announced the acquisition of 50% of the equity capital plus one share of UBI Assicurazioni, a market leader in non-life bancassurance in Italy. The transaction will be executed through a holding company, F&B Insurance Holdings, which will itself be owned jointly by BNP Paribas Assurance and Fortis albeit with the latter holding a controlling share. UBI Assicurazioni is currently 100% owned by UBI Banca and the bank will continue to own the shares not held by F&C Insurance Holdings. Fortis and BNP Paribas Assurance will pay EUR 120 million in cash on completion and an additional consideration of approximately EUR 40 million will be payable to UBI Banca in cash, dependent upon the achievement of certain volume thresholds in the future.

After this acquisition, Fortis and BNP Paribas Assurance will develop UBI Assicurazioni's capabilities in non-life insurance products and services, such as motor insurance, household insurance and creditor insurance, distributed essentially via the retail branch networks of UBI Banca, with which UBI Assicurazioni will enter into a long term exclusive distribution agreement. This transaction is intended to provide Fortis with rapid exposure to the Italian market to enable it to cross-sell insurance products to banking customers, and to enhance the product mix of UBI Assicurazioni. It also provides BNP Paribas Assurance with an opportunity to accelerate the growth of its non-life insurance business in Italy, where it is currently active in creditor insurance through its subsidiary Cardif Assicurazioni.

ERGO's Victoria General obtains exclusive bancassurance tie with Piraeus Bank

In Greece, the ERGO insurance grouping and Piraeus Bank have signed an agreement regarding over-the-counter sales of non-life insurance products. Specifically, from the beginning of 2010, Piraeus Bank, which has 360 branches throughout Greece, will be selling non-life insurance products of Victoria General, the Greek subsidiary of ERGO, on an exclusive basis.  By means of this deal, which has a duration of ten years, ERGO will further expand its bancassurance business in Greece. Previously, Victoria General had been working with Piraeus Bank since 2005, but not on an exclusive basis.

Helvetia extends bancassurance agreement with Raiffeisen banks

In Switzerland, Helvetia and the Raiffeisen banking group have extended for a further five years a bancassurance agreement which has been in place since 1999 and which both companies have judged to be a success. In connection with this, the two partners express a belief that Swiss customers increasingly require financial advice from a single source signalling further potential for the cross-selling of financial services.

Generali links for investment life insurance deal with Alior Bank

In Poland, Generali has reached an agreement with Alior Bank, a Warsaw-based retail bank founded in 2008, for the distribution of an investment life insurance product. The policy allocates capital to 37 Polish and foreign investment funds and across three model portfolios with different risk and return potential. The minimum regular premium payable is PLZ 150 per month, while the client can choose to pay monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual contributions. Moreover, it is also possible to change the amount and frequency of premium payment for the duration of the investment.

ERV renews one relationship for travel cover and initiates another

In the domain of travel insurance in Germany, specialist insurer ERV, which is owned by the ERGO grouping, has revealed that it has begun working with travelment, a new travel booking portal for business customers. travelment was founded in 2008 and primarily serves small and medium-sized businesses who can book all elements of travel including transport and accommodation via the portal. In addition, ERV has also stated that it will continue its distribution partenrship with L’Tur, one of Europe’s largest last-minute travel providers, for another four years.

Groupama and La Banque Postale finalize bancassurance launch

In France, Groupama and La Banque Postale announced they have reached a final agreement for their partnership in non-life insurance and will create a joint venture with Banque Postale as the majority shareholder. They hope that a licence for this will be granted by the regulators by the end of 2009. The two partners intend to launch non-life insurance products by mid-2010 and these will be distributed remotely, via Internet and telephone, at the outset, with a gradual extension to sales through the physical network of La Banque Postale over time.

APRIL Premium links with monabanq for new automotive finance product

Also in France, APRIL Premium, a specialist in car and home insurance for  the upper end of the market belonging to the Groupe APRIL, and monabanq, a ‘new generation’ bank owned ultimately by BNP Paribas, have created the Pack Auto Exclusif, which combines a loan with insurance for new and nearly new cars. It is distributed through brokers, enabling them to offer finance, assurance, assistance and a range of associated services in one package.

The insurance element is for comprehensive cover with features suited to wealthy customers, such as replacement of a car at the price of a new one for cars up to 12 months in age, extended cover in case of theft, cover for personal belongings stolen with the car up to EUR1,000, and a warranty for up to 300,000 kilometres. The contract also includes assistance services such as a replacement vehicle for 40 days in case of theft, repairs in an approved garage, and 24/7 telephone assistance.

Triumverate of partners introduce new unemployment insurance policy

Another initiative related to automotive financial services in France is the result of a three-way collaboration involving SPB, Swiss Life and Toyota Financial Services for the development of an enhanced unemployment insurance policy known as ADP Chômage +. This is believed to be unique in the automotive market because it covers both monthly loan repayments and running expenses in case of redundancy, going beyond the traditional risks of death, total and irreversible disability and temporary inability to work.

Specifically, it pays all of the monthly instalments due on a car bought on credit for up to 12 months, plus a lump sum of EUR150 per month, also for 12 months, to cover expenses related to the use of the vehicle, such as fuel, insurance and running costs, or the equivalent of EUR 1,800 a year. The credit instalments are paid directly to the lender while the customer receives the allowance of EUR 150 per month.

The price of this policy is 0.15% of the total capital borrowed per month on credit contracts and on the price of the car for a leasing contract. It is limited to private customers, aged 57 at most on the day of the purchase, who have been employees for at least a year.

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