In Hans Christian Anderson's famous fairy tale, the future proud swan gets off to a mediocre start at best. He seems awkward and clumsy and is ridiculed by the other animals. Nevertheless, he manages to transform himself into a white swan.
Could this transformation also apply to bancassurance?
Earlier iterations of bancassurance – or bancassurance 1.0 – were only partially successful.
The recent developments have greatly convinced us that despite the earlier lack of success, bancassurance will soon develop and go through a similar transformation as the swan in the fairy tale.
- In Italy, Spain, and France, 60% to 80% of life insurance policies are distributed by banks.
- In Germany, approximately 20% (flat trend) of policies with regular premiums and approximately 45% (rising trend) of policies with single premiums are now sold by banks.
- In the UK, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, bancassurance has made tentative beginnings. In Switzerland, there are some cooperative ventures that work. For example, Raiffeisen's long-standing collaboration with Helvetia, and now with Mobiliar. But it is not yet a broad-based success.
Why has the development of bancassurance in Switzerland been restrained? And why do we still expect bancassurance 2.0 to have a good chance of success?
- Earnings pressure. The earnings situation is different from bancassurance 1.0. The decline in interest margins has eroded banks' earnings. The interest margin of the cantonal banks, for example, has fallen by about 0.4% in the last 10 years, with an interest business generating about 60% of income. Opportunities to strengthen the commission business are therefore being looked at sympathetically, even though it is now hoped that interest rate margins have bottomed out.
- Digitalisation. Above all, the digitalisation of processes across company boundaries (based on APIs, among other things) has created new opportunities for collaboration. IptiQ's announced cooperation with WiZink for the Spanish and Portuguese markets is a leading-edge example of this.
- Acceptance of new distribution models. Acceptance has developed slowly. Customers have learned to appreciate the convenience of buying multiple products, all of which they need at the same time, from a single supplier (rather than from multiple specialists). For example, a car is purchased along with the appropriate insurance and financing. Providers have begun to think in terms of “customer journeys”, partnering with other providers to jointly offer combinations of products that a customer needs at a particular “touch point”. This trend is not limited to bancassurance companies.
These three developments are critical to the success of bancassurance, and we expect a much broader development of bancassurance 2.0, particularly in Switzerland and especially in life: Read the article.
For a cooperation to be successful, however, mistakes made in the past must be addressed. One essential question will be that of exclusivity: will the customer only be presented with an offer from the exclusive partner, or will a market comparison also be made?