Bank of Rajasthan, Birla Sun ink pact for life insurance distribution

Mumbai: Bank of Rajasthan (BoR), one of the leading private sector banks having a large network of branches in India, has formally announced its tie-up with Birla Sun Life Insurance, a major player in the Indian life insurance market, for distributing its life insurance products.

In this direction, a memorandum of understanding was signed on 8 October 2002 between BoR managing director K M Bhattacharya and Birla Sun Life CEO Nani Javeri in the presence of BoR chairman Pravin Kumar Tayal.

BoR will facilitate distribution of life insurance products of Birla Sun Life through its strong network of more than 400 national offices. It will also be able to leverage the Birla brand effectively in Rajasthan where its presence is the strongest. BoR has also entered the general insurance business with a strategic alliance with Bajaj Allianz.

Says Tayal: “We are constantly looking at ways to reinvent and grow in order to maximise benefits for our loyal clientele. Bancassurance is an efficient way for insurance companies to sell insurance products to customers. We will make available a gamut of insurance products to address the credit protection and long-term savings needs of our customers.“

Says Javeri: “Among the life insurance companies, we have played a leading role in creating relationships through the banking channel. To enlarge our reach and services, we are pursuing a multi-channel distribution strategy of which this alliance is a major step. This is in line with the international trend in the marketing of financial services.

“The proportion of life insurance and pensions sold through the bancassurance distribution channel in Europe is currently at a level of 30 per cent. We are sure this strategic tie-up will give us an opportunity to tap the huge customer base that BoR has in Rajasthan through its 200 branches in the state and key branches across India.

“We will provide innovative customised products with efficient service through the bank's network, which will prove to be a value addition to the customers. This is a significant tie-up as it will also enable us to penetrate into semi-urban and rural areas of Rajasthan apart from the other parts of the country, including urban areas.“

With the opening of the insurance sector, the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) has provided guidelines for private insurance companies to distribute products through corporate agents. Subject to IRDA approvals, BoR will become a corporate agent for Birla Sun Life.