CNP, BPCE reach deal on new insurance partnership

PARIS, July 31 Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:28pm EDT

PARIS, July 31 (Reuters) - Mutually owned French bank BPCE and listed insurer CNP Assurances have reached a new seven-year co-insurance partnership deal beginning in 2016 that could resolve how to proceed after their current deal expires at the end of next year.

The memorandum of understanding includes a proposed deal for a new co-insurance agreement on creditor insurance underwritten 66 percent by CNP and 34 percent by BPCE's listed arm, Natixis .

CNP will also distribute group contract protection through BPCE's regional networks, Caisse d'Epargne, Banques Populaires and Credit Foncier.

CNP currently distributes its products in France through BPCE and state-owned Banque Postale, which together own a 36 percent stake in the insurer, but the partnership agreement with BPCE runs out at the end of 2015, and BPCE had wanted to sell insurance through Natixis.

That would have deprived CNP of one of its main retail distribution channels in its main market.

Eager to build other bridges to retail clients, CNP agreed earlier this month to buy a 51 percent stake in Banco Santander's life and non-life insurance business. (Reporting by Leigh Thomas, Matthieu Protard and Andrew Callus; Editing by James Regan)