January 10, 2018 / 9:11 AM / a year ago

Thai SCB, Prudential reach bancassurance deal

BANGKOK, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Siam Commercial Bank Pcl , Thailand’s second largest bank by assets, and Prudential Life Assurance (Thailand), a unit of UK-based Prudential Plc, have signed a bancassurance partnership deal aimed at the lender’s wealthy clients.

An ageing population and a limited welfare system provides opportunities for insurers in Thailand, the eighth largest insurance market in Asia, according to a 2016 Swiss Re report.

“Thailand is one of the largest insurance markets in Southeast Asia with low insurance penetration, a growing and increasingly prosperous population with significant insurance and savings needs,” Aman Chowla, chief executive of Prudential Thailand said in a statement.

“Bancassurance is an integral part of our multi-distribution strategy to reach Thai customers.”

The partnership, which will initially offer three unit-linked products from Prudential, “perfectly” fits in with the financial and investment needs of its customers, said Salisa Hanpanich, executive vice president of the bank’s segment management division.

A unit-linked insurance policy allows holders to invest in qualified instruments, such as mutual funds.

The partnership comes less than a year after the bank attempted to sell its life insurance arm to Hong Kong insurer FWD Group.

Life insurance direct premiums in Thailand stood at 533.2 billion baht ($16.10 billion) in 2015, while non-life premiums were at 209.3 billion baht, latest available government data showed.

Reporting by Wirat Buranakanokthanasan, Writing by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath

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