ICBC’s Hong Kong arm reaches deal with Richard Li’s FWD to sell insurance products

ICBC (Asia) is FWD’s seventh banking partner and will sell the company’s range of comprehensive life insurance products to its customers

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 February, 2018, 7:01pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 February, 2018, 11:49pm

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia), the Hong Kong arm of the China’s largest lender ICBC, has reached an agreement with FWD Hong Kong to sell its products, the two companies announced on Tuesday.

FWD is a life insurance company owned by tycoon Richard Li Tzar-kai’s Pacific Century Group. The agreement would allow ICBC (Asia) to sell FWD’s comprehensive life insurance products and services, including endowment insurance, universal life insurance, health and protection products, among others to its banking customers. 

“This agreement ushers in a new chapter for our bancassurance business. We will leverage each other’s strengths and work closely together to provide diversified products and assist our customers to meet their savings and protection needs,” said Peter Leung, deputy chief executive of ICBC (Asia).

David Wong, chief executive of FWD for Hong Kong and Macau, said the agreement would benefit both companies.

“We are confident this partnership will strengthen our bancassurance platform, offer us with more resources to better support all our bank partners and facilitate the exchange of state-of-the-art technologies, allowing us to provide more innovative insurance experiences for our banking customers and enhance our ability to grow with our bank partners,” Wong said.

ICBC (Asia) is FWD’s seventh banking partner, which derives almost 20 per cent of all its sales from its banking partners. Its other banking partners include Bank of Communication Hong Kong as well as China Construction Bank.

The insurer also sells life insurance products through its 2,400 agents who account for 36 per cent of sales, while its online trading platform represents 20 per cent of all sales and the rest comes from insurance brokers.  

In 2012, the Dutch financial services firm ING sold its Hong Kong business to Li’s Pacific Century Group which was renamed as FWD. Even in the ING era, the insurance company relied on banking partners to sell its products.