UK headquartered financial services groups Aviva and HBOS have come together to form a bancassurance alliance in Australia. Together the companies will offer innovative investments services through their local subsidiaries.

In a bid to increase its share of the insurance and investment market in Australia, HBOS, through its St Andrews Australia and BankWest subsidiaries, is to offer customers a wholesale version of an Aviva-run investment platform.

The new agreement will see St Andrews Australia, HBOS Australia’s Insurance and Investment arm, take up the use of a white label version of Aviva’s Navigator investment platform to administer its client’s investments.

St Andrews’ financial advisers located in Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, will be provided with Navigator’s n-link technology, which incorporates financial planning, research and client management systems.

In addition to these financial advisers, St Andrews sales and training staff will train HBOS’s existing Australian banking business staff on how to sell low cost direct life and investment products. HBOS hopes the new deal will enable it to almost double its ranks of advisers by the end of the year.

In explaining the reasons for the union, Aviva COO Grant Salmon said We are not a bank and we don’t control distribution. We are a product manufacturer and a funds administration provider and we recognize HBOS is the expert retailer.