The Chinese bancassurance market has been found as a whole to remain under-developed with 54 out of the 108 banks investigated not offering any insurance types, according to market research and consulting firm Finaccord.

Finaccord’s new report "Bancassurance in China: Life, Non-Life and Creditor Insurance" has analysed the Chinese insurance market in detail, focusing on size of the market, the insurance products available and the operating models used by banks.

According to the report, around 13 different classes of insurance is offered by 108 banking institutions in China. Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of Dongguan, Ping An Bank and Qingdao Bank were found to offer diverse range of bancassurance policies, each with 11 out of these 13 product types.

Four other banks such as Bank of China, China Resource Bank, Fudian Bank and Industrial Bank are providing ten types of policy, with critical illness insurance, investment-related life insurance, retirement savings and risk life insurance on offer.

Compared to an average of 1.88 recorded in a previous study by Finaccord in 2012, the average number of insurance types offered across all 108 organisations stood at 2.94 in 2014.

Of the 108 researched, exactly one half of the banks investigated, including Bank of Jilin and Wuhan Rural Commercial Bank, still did not offer any of the insurance types, noted Finaccord.

Finaccord consultant Yapei Zhang said: "Bancassurance has been an important insurance distribution channel in China in recent years with well over 50% of all life insurance premiums collected through it.

"Nonetheless, the bancassurance market as a whole remains somewhat under-developed in terms of both bank participation and product diversification, with a great majority of bancassurance sales tilted towards life insurance rather than health or non-life
cover. In addition, regulations continue to limit the products that can be sold and the regions in which they can be marketed.

"Overall, many of China’s retail banks are expanding their co-operation with insurance companies and this is creating opportunities for both new product initiatives and brand new partnerships."