Sat, Mar 15, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Standard Chartered, Prudential ink 15-year insurance deal

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Standard Chartered PLC and Prudential PLC announced yesterday that they have struck a 15-year agreement to expand the term and geographic scope of their bancassurance partnership in Asian markets, which includes Taiwan.

The new agreement, which increases coverage from nine markets to 11, will take effect on July 1 to deepen a partnership that formed in 1998, Standard Chartered said in a statement.

Under the new agreement, Standard Chartered will exclusively sell Prudential’s life insurance products through its banking branches in nine markets: Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and India, the statement said.

In China and South Korea, the British banking group will distribute Prudential’s life insurance products on a preferred basis, the statement said.

The agreement falls in line with “our aspiration to be a leader in growing and protecting the wealth of our clients, with a specific aim to double our assets under management to US$300 billion by 2020,” Standard Chartered chief executive officer Peter Sands said in the statement.

The UK-based bank posted US$6.96 billion in pre-tax profit last year, down 7 percent from US$7.52 billion in 2012, due to market volatility and pressured interest and profit margin, the group said last week. Its subsidiary in Taiwan recorded NT$2.78 billion in pre-tax income last year, falling 22 percent from NT$3.56 billion in 2012, according to Financial Supervisory Commission’s Web site.

Hong Kong, the group’s largest market, increased income by 11 percent and operating profit by 16 percent last year, Standard Chartered said.

Standard Chartered and Prudential have also agreed to explore further opportunities elsewhere in Asia and in Africa, as Prudential aims to expand its presence in emerging markets.

“The business ... with Standard Chartered has achieved significant growth, delivering compound annual sales growth of 19 percent over the last decade,” Prudential chief executive Tidjane Thiam said in the statement.

Although headquartered in London, Standard Chartered strives in Asia, Africa and the Middle East where the group earns about 90 percent of its income and profits.

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