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India life insurance:RBI allows banks to enter insurance broking

研究机构:摩根大通(亚太) 研究员:Seshadri K Sen,Bloomberg,Dhiren C Shah,Josh Klacze 发布时间:2015-01-21

The RBI, yesterday, issued a notification allowing banks to start insurance broking throughsubsidiaries – up until now, they were allowed to be corporate agents for a single insurer. Thisopens the door for some agent-led players like Birla Sun Life, Reliance Capital and Bajaj Allianzto access bank channels and could be a positive for them. This may look like a negative for thelarger players like ICICI Pru, HDFC Life and SBI Life, but we don’t see the larger bankstransitioning to broking in the near term.

Key facets of new guidelines. a) Insurance broking, in effect, has to be conducted througha subsidiary b) The corporate agency at the parent bank level will then have to besurrendered. c) This is optional for the banks. d) The subsidiary window is open only forlarger and stronger banks as the RBI has placed hurdle rates for net worth, CAR and NPAratios.

Positive for agent-led players. This is a positive for agent-led players as they can now getac cess to banking channels. Reliance Capital, Birla Sun Life and Bajaj Allianz can now lookfor tie-ups to add to their agency-heavy distribution models, which is a significantincremental positive. The larger bancassurance players also benefit as they can now add moredistributors, but the benefit is more muted.

Larger players – no worries yet. We do not see the larger banks moving to the brokingmodels just yet – the relationships with the insurance partners are deep and unlikely to bedisturbed yet. We do not see a risk to the market shares of the big three – ICICI Pru, HDFCLife and SBI Life just yet.

More pricing power for banks. This does transfer pricing power to the banks and couldhurt smaller insurers quite a bit. The key to combating this for insurers is to strengthenproducts and create the pull, which will be easier for larger players with strong brands andsignificant benefits of scale.

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