October 12, 2017 / 12:44 PM / 9 days ago

Bangkok Bank and AIA Group reach 15-year agreement on bancassurance

BANGKOK, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Bangkok Bank PCL has reached a new 15-year distribution agreement for a strategic bancassurance partnership with Hong Kong’s AIA Group LTD , the companies said on Thursday.

The agreement lets Bangkok Bank offer AIA’s range of life insurance products to customers in Thailand throughout its nationwide network of around 1,200 branches and other distribution points around Thailand.

The partnership will take effect in the first half of 2018. Thailand‘s insurance sector is the 8th largest in Asia, according to a 2016 Swiss Re report.

Without a proper social security mechanism, Thailand’s ageing population is also an opportunity for insurers. Life insurance direct premium was 533.2 billion baht ($16.10 billion) in 2015, while non-life was at 209.3 billion baht, according to government data.

The deal will create more choices for the bank’s customers, Bangkok Bank President Chartsiri Sophonpanich said in a statement.

“Through this collaboration, we will be able to offer a broader range of insurance and savings products and services to meet our customers’ needs,” he said.

Thailand represents one of Southeast Asia most attractive life insurance markets for AIA, CEO Ng Keng Hooi said.

$1 = 33.1100 baht Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um; writing by Chayut Setboonsarng; editing by Jason Neely

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