Australian QBE Insurance Group has agreed to acquire the Australian operations of US-owned Cuna Mutual Group.

QBE said that the takeover is expected to increase its share of the Australian credit union and community-based financial institutions sector and add more than $80m of gross written premium in 2011.

Cuna Mutual started Australian operations in 1969. It offer insurance and insurance related products under the MemberCare brand to Australia’s credit unions including white label solutions.

QBE Insurance Group CEO Frank O’Halloran said the acquisition is a key component in QBE’s strategy of building its presence in the Australian financial institutions sector.

CUNA Mutual Australia managing director, Karen Milton said the move is a win for both companies and look forward to continuing services for customers through this exciting transition.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be closed in March 2011.