Canara-Oriental-HSBC joint venture launches life insurance products

Mumbai: HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance Company Ltd, a joint venture of public sector Canara Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce with HSBC Insurance (Asia Pacific) Holdings Ltd, the Asian insurance arm of HSBC, today launched its insurance products.

Union finance minister P Chidambaram handed over the first eight policies of the company to underprivileged children at a function held in Bangalore today.

The new company, to be based in Gurgaon, will have an initial capital base of Rs325 crore ($81 million).

Canara Bank will hold majority 51 per cent stake in the company while HSBC and OBC will have 26 per cent and 23 per cent respectively in the joint venture.

The company, which started off with eight types of life insurance policies, including a mix of traditional and unit-linked schemes, plans to focus largely on the bancassurance model.

The company plans to leverage a customer base of 40 million and a nationwide network of 4,000 bank branches.

HSBC sees great potential for its insurance products in the fast-growing economies of China and India.

The new life insurance venture, however, faces stiff competition from state-run Life Insurance Corp and a host of joint ventures of the world's top insurance companies, including AIG, Allianz and Aviva.