By Yanick BONNET, DISFA, IA, Senior Actuary, Managing director GEMA Pierre ARNAL, DISFA, IA, Consulting Actuary, Senior Partner, ACTUARIS
"Bancassurance" was created in France in the 70/80's, motivated by a new context of the life insurance market, new needs on the part of the consumers. The positioning of the banks permitted the "bancassurers" to exceed 60% of market shares in 2000. Since then, bancassurance has been highly successful, as today most of the major French banks have set up their own insurance companies, which take in a significant part of the life insurance market. This success coincided with a favorable taxation for life insurance products, as well as with the consumers' growing needs, in terms of middle and long term savings, which were due to an inadequacy of the pension schemes in France. The links between bank and insurance have taken place through various ways (distribution agreements, joint ventures, creation of a company ex nihilo) and have given rise to a complete upheaval concerning marketing strategies and the setting up of insurance products' distribution. To start with, the bancassurers focused on the sale of products linked to their banking activity, but then diversified their offers and can now be found in most insurance branches (life / non life), with a recent development centered on health, property / casualty insurance. The objectives of this paper are : to describe the French bancassurance market, the various players and their specifications to study the conclusions to be drawn from the past experience, concerning technical and marketing approaches, product distribution and synergy created in the financial groups to analyze the current development of the model and the European regulation in term of financial conglomerates and solvency of banking groups or insurance groups.
The French bancassurance market
I.1 Background The starting point of the