RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, Philippines

StanChart Philippines to choose partner for bancassurance business

The lender is In talks with potential partners besides PruLife to complement its roster of services for the country’s elite.

British banking giant Standard Chartered plans to set up a bancassurance venture with a major insurance partner within the year to complement its suite of wealth-management services.

Stanchart, the first foreign bank to set up shop in the Philippines 139 years ago, is in talks with potential insurance partners, including the Prudential group, for the planned cross-selling of protection products through bank branches. In the Philippines, the Prudential group has a local insurance unit, PruLife UK.

“There’s a global enterprise agreement that exists in PruLife [on bancassurance]. They have the first crack but we’re now at a stage that while we’re still talking to them, we’re open to other potential partners,” Stanchart general manager for wealth management Marion Kohchet-Chua said in a recent interview.

Under Philippine rules, a bank must own part of the life insurance company whose insurance products it would cross-sell in its branches. Stanchart and its potential partner would thus set up a joint-venture firm hopefully within this year, Kohchet-Chua said.

Some of the country’s biggest insurance firms have teamed up with banks to set up bancassurance operations in the Philippines, among them Philamlife-Bank of the Philippine Islands, Sun Life of Canada-Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. and AXA-Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co.

Recently, Stanchart revitalized its global priority banking business. In the Philippines, this unit targeting clients with at least P2.5 million worth of banking relationship with Stanchart is seen growing to comprise as much as 40-50 percent of onshore business over the next five years.

View the full story in The Philippine Daily Inquirer.

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