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IC approves Pru Life UK, Robinsons Bank sales deal

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PRU LIFE UK and Robinsons Bank Corp.’s bancassurance deal has been approved. — BW FILE PHOTO

THE INSURANCE Commission (IC) has approved the bancassurance deal between Robinsons Bank Corp. and Pru Life UK.

In a statement sent to reporters on Monday, the IC announced it has approved the partnership between the British insurer and the Gokongwei-led bank.

“[The approval] will enable [Pru Life UK] to sell its traditional life insurance products through Robinsons Bank’s 134 branches nationwide,” Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa was quoted as saying in the statement.

He added that the approval was brought about by Pru Life UK’s request for the agreement as required under the commission’s rules on bancassurance.

In January, the insurance firm and the lender signed a three-year bancassurance partnership, which grants Pru Life UK the exclusive right to sell and distribute insurance policies through the branch network of Robinsons Bank.

Robinsons Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Elfren Antonio S. Sarte said during the signing event that the three-year bancassurance partnership will generate approximately P40 million to P50 million in premiums in the first year.

Pru Life UK President and CEO Antonio Manuel G. De Rosas added that the partnership will help the life insurer diversify its distribution channels.

Prior to the bancassurance partnership, Pru Life only had broker partnerships with HSBC Philippines and Standard Chartered Bank Philippines.

However, the British life insurer has ended their partnerships with the said lenders, as HSBC signed a distribution agreement with Allianz PNB (Philippine National Bank) Life Insurance, Inc. in July 2017, while Standard Chartered transferred its retail banking operations in the Philippines to Gotianun-led East West Banking Corp. in November 2016.

“While bancassurance is an effective strategy for both the banking institutions and insurance companies, it is the insuring public that will greatly benefit from these agreements. Through bancassurance arrangements, the public gains access to comprehensive financial protection,” Mr. Funa said in the statement.

The IC said there are several bancassurance deals that may be adopted by banks and insurers including joint ventures and distribution agreements, among others.

“The best way of entering bancassurance depends on the strengths and weaknesses of the organization and on the availability of a suitable partner if the organization decides to involve a partner,” the IC added.

Currently, there are 15 insurance companies engaged in bancassurance. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal