Hong Kong, 24 March 2021 - AIA Group Limited (“AIA”; or the “Company”; stock code: 1299) announces the formation of a new exclusive 15-year strategic bancassurance partnership with The Bank of East Asia, Limited (“BEA”) covering Hong Kong and Mainland China.
BEA will distribute AIA’s life and long-term savings products on an exclusive basis to its retail banking customers. This partnership combines AIA’s compelling propositions and proven bancassurance expertise with BEA’s network of more than 140 outlets in Hong Kong and Mainland China and its affluent customer base.
The agreement builds on AIA’s proven track record in bancassurance, expanding AIA’s relationships with leading domestic banks to eight markets, in addition to a major regional partnership.
In Hong Kong, BEA is a leading bank franchise with more than 1.2 million domestic customers and significant potential to deepen life and health insurance penetration. In Mainland China, BEA is a top three foreign bank in terms of the number of personal banking branches, operating across 22 provinces(1) and with a fast-growing, affluent customer base.
The addition of BEA as a new strategic distribution partner further strengthens AIA’s competitive advantages across the Guangdong-Hong-Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (the “GBA”). BEA has a long history in the GBA having built one of the largest networks among foreign banks with branches in all 11 cities in the area. BEA is a pioneer of cross-border financial services including payments, mortgages and investments. Through its extensive licences covering banking, securities and asset management, BEA is ideally positioned to provide seamless services as GBA connectivity and flows accelerate.
The GBA offers immense potential for AIA with a combined population of 72 million, GDP of US$1.7 trillion(2) and growing needs for life and health insurance. The GBA is a key element of China’s national development blueprint, aiming to accelerate growth through economic reform, innovation and increased connectivity and integration of its cities. As a result, the urban population is expected to grow rapidly and GDP for the GBA is forecast to exceed US$4.0 trillion by 2030(3).
Across the GBA, AIA is ranked as a top three life insurer in terms of agency new business sales and having 100 per cent ownership of its operations places AIA in an unrivalled position to fully capitalise on the growth prospects from this dynamic region. AIA’s integrated strategy and execution enable the efficient delivery of products and premium services through extensive multi-distribution channels, allowing AIA to capture new opportunities as regulations evolve.
AIA will pay a total consideration of HK$5,070 million (approximately US$650 million) for the exclusive 15-year life insurance distribution partnership with BEA and for the acquisition of 100 per cent of BEA Life Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BEA. AIA will also acquire a closed portfolio of life insurance policies underwritten by Blue Cross (Asia-Pacific) Insurance Limited.
Jacky Chan, AIA’s Regional Chief Executive, said: “This transaction brings together two trusted financial institutions with a long history of operating in Hong Kong and Mainland China, who are aligned in the pursuit of sustainable growth powered by digital and technological transformation. It enables us to bring our in-branch sales expertise and range of quality protection and long-term savings products to BEA’s loyal customer base, with an opportunity to unlock significant growth potential for both companies.
“In particular, our complementary and broad capabilities across the GBA enable AIA and BEA to build a unique partnership and harness the growth potential as the region develops. Together, we will help many more families across the region lead Healthier, Longer, Better lives.”
Adrian Li and Brian Li, Co-Chief Executives of BEA, said: “Our strategy is to drive sustainable income by providing our customers with a compelling range of competitive products through our best-in-class omni-channel bank distribution network.
“AIA has an extraordinary track record in bancassurance and a deep commitment to the GBA. We are delighted that they share our vision and recognise the opportunities presented by our franchise. We look forward to working together in building a leading life insurance sales platform in Hong Kong and Mainland China, focused on serving the future needs of the GBA.”
The two parties will immediately begin preparations to launch the distribution partnership. The acquisition of BEA Life Limited is expected to complete by the end of this year, subject to obtaining the relevant regulatory approvals.