Malaysia's CIMB enters bancassurance partnership with Japanese firm

CIMB Group Holdings has entered a bancassurance partnership with Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings.
CIMB Group Holdings has entered a bancassurance partnership with Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Malaysian bank CIMB Group Holdings has entered into a bancassurance partnership with Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings to distribute Sompo's non-life or general insurance products.

They will be distributed through CIMB's distribution network comprising branches, call centres and online channels in Southeast Asia. CIMB has 961 branches and more than 12 million customers in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand.

The bancassurance model has proven to be lucrative for banks as life and general insurers are willing to cough out huge sums to gain access to banks' networks to penetrate the market and grow their customer base.

CIMB Group chief executive Zafrul Aziz said bancassurance is in line with the group's direction to expand its consumer and commercial segments to strengthen its core businessess.

"This partnership will reap benefits not only from CIMB Group's core strength in distribution of bancassurance products, but also from Sompo's capabilities in digital technology to drive growth in our bancassurance segment," he added.

"Having a strong regional partner also facilitates synergies and operational efficiencies, enabling CIMB Group to deliver better value to our customers across Asean."

Sompo is the largest bancassurance insurer in Japan with total assets of US$89.7 billion (S$121.4 billion) and net written premiums of US$22.5 billion.

Sompo Group chief executive Kengo Sakurada said the partnership with CIMB will further enhance Sompo's distribution network and broaden its customer base.

In Singapore, CIMB has bancassurance partnerships with three life insurers - AIA Singapore, NTUC Income and Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore.

lornatan@sph.com.sg