UAE and KSA reported largest insurance markets in GCC with nearly 80% Gross Written Premium
Dubai, UAE, 23 February, 2015: Regional and international bancassurance and insurance experts have gathered in Dubai today to discuss the impact of changing regulations, market trends and projections on driving profitability in the Middle East’s bancassurance sector.
Banassurance, whereby insurance companies and banks collaborate to provide insurance products through a bank’s existing customer base, is significantly contributing to the steady growth of the GCC insurance market.
The Bancassurance MENA Summit opened with a critical regulatory update by Prasanna Seshachellam, Director, Supervision at Dubai Financial Services Authority and Ahmed Al Mamari, Acting Director General, Directorate of Insurance Supervision at Oman’s Capital Market Authority, who assessed the major regulatory developments in the industry and discussed future policy initiatives.
Taking place until 25 February at The Address Hotel Dubai Mall, a packed agenda featuring regional experts will discuss how to establish sustainable partnerships and generate greater efficiencies through customer-centric approaches.
Successful bancassurance strategies need strong regulatory frameworks in place according to the 2015 Bancassurance MENA Summit Report, commissioned by Informa, organisers of the Bankassurance MENA Summit. In the GCC, these frameworks need to accommodate both local companies as well as multinationals that play a crucial role in shaping the regional market.
First Gulf Bank has reported that GCC insurance markets mirror the region’s macroeconomic fundamentals and have grown quickly with varying degrees of sophistication and fierce competition. The GCC insurance industry has almost tripled in value between 2006 and 2013, with insurance premiums increasing from US$6.4 billion to US$18.4 billion.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia are the largest insurance markets in the GCC, with nearly 80 percent of Gross Written Premium (GWP). The UAE is the biggest and fastest-growing insurance market, accounting for almost 45 percent of the region’s GWP and has witnessed strong growth momentum with a 17 percent CAGR over the past six years.
Speaking ahead of his seminar session at the Bancassurance MENA Summit, David Harris, Director – Direct & Affinity, UAE & Bahrain, RSA Insurance, said: “As a growing insurance industry continues to remain vital to sustainable economic development, the bancassurance model offers a unique avenue to address the low penetration rates in the market.
“While we have already seen promising progress in this sector, there is still a lot of potential to better align the industry with global best practices. Particularly as a well-defined framework will help all stakeholders effectively address the changing demographics and evolving insurance needs we are seeing in the market today.
“In this competitive environment, banks and insurers that can form fully integrated partnerships, while maintaining customer centricity, will be able to deliver greater operational efficiency and increase sales.
“With this in mind, the Bancassurance MENA Summit is a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to get together to build their networks. Leveraging our international expertise in the space and our local heritage, RSA is uniquely suited to lead the growth in this space.”
Swissquote Bank UAE’s CEO of Middle East and Asia, Damien Hitchen, said: “The event provides access to a focused audience of key stakeholders in the bancassurance landscape, an opportunity to leverage collective knowledge and take a look at forthcoming trends and priorities.”
Chandra Sekhar, AIG MENA Zone Head of Consumer Insurance, added: “The bancassurance channel has proven to be vital and efficient to increase insurance penetration and insurance awareness in the zone. Together with our bancassurance business partners, we are looking to deliver custom-made products and services to end users.
“It is imperative that insurance companies, together with banks invest on product innovation, cross-selling strategies, customer services and call centres to provide quality insurance service to end-users, which will in turn enhance quality of life of our insureds and their loyalty in our brands.”
Organised by Informa, the Bancassurance MENA Summit brings together leading regulators, insurers, banks, consultants and IT providers to identify market growth strategies as well as models to improve the returns and profitability of this growing channel.
The two-day conference and one-day post conference seminar is officially supported by Strategic Insurance Partner RSA Insurance, Gold Sponsor Swissquote and Silver Sponsor AIG. Other headline speakers include Vivek Varma, Regional Head of Insurance, Middle East and North Africa, HSBC Bank Middle East; Emad Louis, Vice President: Head of Barclays Direct Business, Barclays, Egypt; and Shyam Sankar, Head of Bancassurance, RAK Insurance, UAE.