India-based private insurer Reliance Life is looking to ink a bancassurance pact to distribute its array of insurance products and services in the country as well as offer a minority 5%stake in the company.
The underwriter is seeking a suitable distribution partner from public, private and cooperative banking sectors, which will enable to reinforce its presence in the highly competitive Indian insurance market.
Currently operating without a bancassurance partner, Reliance Life aims to take advantage of the recent ruling of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), which has permitted banks to serve as distributor for many insurance firms.
Reliance Life Insurance CEO Anup Rau was quoted by PTI as saying, "Allowing banks to act as brokers and sell products of more than one insurer has opened up a distribution opportunity for the company.
"We are in talk with multiple banks, including commercial and co-operative, for a long-term strategic partnership and might offer a small equity stake up to five per cent to a bank of critical size and reach."
In a bid to strengthen insurance access in the country, IRDA has allowed lenders to serve as brokers and market insurance products and services for many insurers.
"Our current distribution gap can be served by one bank of a significant size and reach. If we do not get the bank of that critical size, we can have more than one bank on board for selling our insurance products," Rau added.
SBI, ICICI and HDFC Bank manage insurance ventures within their groups and serve as insurance brokers.