TORONTO May 8 Canada should maintain the strict
boundaries that separate its banking and insurance sectors, Sun
Life Financial Chief Executive Dean Connor told the
company's annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday.
Connor, who has moved de-risk the insurer's balance sheet
and push expansion in Asia over the past year, said keeping the
two industries separate is key to Sun Life maintaining a strong
operation in its home Canadian market.
"We think the federal government recognizes the strong
policy reasons for (maintaining the separation), and has managed
this well to date. We strongly encourage them to continue doing
so," he said in the text of a speech being delivered at the
meeting in Toronto.
Canada's big banks all sell insurance, but are precluded
from doing so out of traditional bank branches to prevent them
from linking loan and insurance products. The rules were put in
place decades ago to maintain competition in the sector.
This means the banks must sell insurance from separate
offices instead of their traditional branches.
Eager to push deeper into the insurance industry, some banks
have built insurance offices right next to some of their
branches, although they are not allowed to refer customers from
one to the other.
Sun Life will release its first-quarter results later on