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BNP Paribas Cardif

Bancassurance around the world: overview and outlook at a time of regulatory change


The term ‘bancassurance' refers to the distribution of savings insurance, protection insurance and property and casualty insurance policies through banking networks or financial institutions. It originated in Europe (and particularly Belgium and France) before expanding to other continents.


Bancassurance provides a one-stop response to all the financial needs of consumers (precautionary savings, asset building, pensions, home purchase, protection against unforeseen life events, etc.) and many other benefits, including easy access to services, straightforward products and competitive rates. 


There are a number of distinctly different bancassurance models: exclusive distribution agreements between a bank and an insurer, open architecture (where a bank distributes the products of several insurers), joint ventures (an insurance company owned jointly by a bank and an insurer) and integration (the 100% bank captive insurance company).


The new regulatory capital requirements for banks and insurers, combined with the trend towards greater consumer protection, may encourage bancassurers to review their business model. But in any event, bancassurance will continue to grow, because it is such an effective route to serving customers and securing their loyalty. 


We take stock of the history of bancassurance growth worldwide, the way it is organized and the changes now underway in the industry against a background of regulatory reform and changing customer behavior.