Money & Banking

Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance upbeat that PSBs amalgamation will help boost sales

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on October 30, 2019

Will launch annuity, online term product soon

Private sector Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance is upbeat about the amalgamation of its promoter banks as it would help boost sales. The life insurer is also looking to increase its digital sales and has plans to launch an annuity product and online term product in the coming months.

“From a business perspective, it is good for us because in terms of number of branches which we will have access to and number of customers, there’s going to be a huge increase. So it’s positive for us,” said Anuj Mathur, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance.

In an interaction with BusinessLine, Mathur declined to comment on the issue of whether atleast one of the promoters will have to exit from the company post amalgamation.

“Equity issue is for shareholders to decide. I can’t comment on that. IRDAI regulations are not very clear right now and hopefully clarity will emerge soon,” he said.

Canara Bank holds 51 per cent stake in the life insurer, while HSBC holds 26 per cent equity through HSBC Insurance (Asia-Pacific) Holdings Limited and Oriental Bank of Commerce has 23 per cent share.

Under the government’s big ticket merger plans for public sector banks, OBC and United Bank merger will merge into Punjab National Bank, and Syndicate Bank and Canara Bank will merge into one entity.

Mathur also remains upbeat about the company’s plans and said that it is hopeful of doing better than the industry growth rate.

The insurer is looking to increase its digital sales and is in the midst of launching new products. It has a total retail unique customer base of about 8.5 lakhs.

At present, bancassurance channel contributes about 95 per cent of its business. “It is a very efficient business model we are running and I feel it has huge potential and more customers will be on-boarded through this. We have few other partners, apart from the three shareholders including Dhanlakshmi Bank and a few NBFCs,” he said.

The insurer has also set up a digital SBU about six months ago to focus on online sales. “We will see 100 per cent growth in our digital business though base is small,” Mathur said, adding that early next quarter around January they will also launch a new online term plan.

It has recently also partnered with operated by Suvision Insurance Broker Private Limited to sell life insurance plans on its digital platform.

The insurer is also set to launch an annuity product this quarter with options for both deferred and immediate annuity. “It is one segment where we will see lot of growth, as there is longevity of people. We are focusing on this,” Mathur said.

“In terms of business, we are doing pretty well. Industry is growing by about 15 per cent to 16 per cent, our growth has been about 20 per cent during this period and overall we are very confident that we will end the year at about 30 odd per cent growth,” he said.

Published on October 30, 2019

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