AIA Group, a pan-Asian life insurance group, and Citibank have signed an exclusive bancassurance agreement, whereby the US bank will distribute various insurance products and services acorss 11 markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

The 15-year distribution partnership covers Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia, India and Korea.

The bancassurance agreement will comprise all retail distribution channels, such as branches, telemarketing and online channels.

AIA, which aims to distribute retail and group life insurance products, will be able to access Citibank’s corporate clients and nearly 13 million existing retail cardholders and banking customers in the 11 markets.

AIA group chief executive and president Mark Tucker said the agreement further consolidates AIA’s position in Asia’s fast growing life insurance markets and significantly enhances its bancassurance platform alongside its long-established and market leading agency channel.

"It will enable AIA to apply our in-branch sales expertise, leading point-of-sale technology and broad product range with the objective of considerably increasing the life and health insurance penetration of Citibank’s large retail and commercial customer base across Asia," Tucker added.

Citi Asia Pacific CEO Stephen Bird commented, "By partnering with one of the world’s leading insurance companies, we will be able to offer our customers access to high quality, tailored life insurance products and services that offer them protection suited to their needs."

The new bancassurance partnership arrangements will be implemented in each local territory during the course of 2014.