Taiwan Cooperative Bank (TCB) and BNP Paribas Assurance (BNPPA) today signed a joint venture agreement to set up BNP Paribas Assurance TCB Life Insurance Company in Taiwan. Leveraging on BNP Paribas Assurance’s 35-year experience in bancassurance in 41 countries around the world, as well as TCB’s extensive network of over 300 branches around the island, the new company will seize new business opportunities created by bancassurance in Taiwan. The agreement also marks a major step towards TCB’s vision to transform itself into a financial holding structure.
According to the joint venture agreement, TCB will possess 51% of equities and BNP Paribas Assurance will hold 49% of shares in the new company. TCB will designate the Chairman of the new company, while the General Manager will be assigned by BNP Paribas Assurance.
Deng-cheng Liu, Chairman of Taiwan Cooperative Bank, said: “To cope with the intensified competition in Taiwan’s financial market, Taiwan Cooperative Bank is actively expanding its business in areas that include securities, life insurance and mutual funds, in order to complement its core competence in banking. With operation synergy via resource integration and service portfolio extension, we hope to transform the company into a full-service financial institute and strengthen our position as a leading bank in the region. The formation of the BNP Paribas Assurance TCB Life Insurance Company is an important step to accomplish our goal. BNP Paribas Assurance is a global leader in bancassurance. Leveraging on BNP Paribas Assurance’s highly diversified portfolio of life insurance offerings, as well as its top-notch bancassurance model, we are confident that Taiwan Cooperative Bank will reinforce its footprint in the life insurance market, strengthen its position as a full-service financial enterprise, and become a trusted partner of our customers. By doing so, we hope to bring Taiwan Cooperative Bank into a new horizon. “
Jean-Bertrand Laroche, BNP Paribas Assurance’s Head of International, said: “BNP Paribas Assurance is the insurance arm of French-based BNP Paribas. Currently, we are operating in 41 countries around the world. In Taiwan, our goal is to leap into the top three bancassurance companies. We have been operating in Taiwan for 10 years thanks to our banking partners and are fully convinced in the potential of savings and protection products through multipartnership. We are honored to form this strategic partnership with Taiwan Cooperative Bank to initiate a new milestone in Taiwan’s life insurance industry. The new company will take advantage of Taiwan Cooperative Bank’s brand heritage and extensive network in Taiwan to create a win-win situation for all stakeholders, bringing more high-quality insurance products and services to consumers in Taiwan.
About Taiwan Cooperative Bank
Taiwan Cooperative Bank (TCB) was established on Oct. 5, 1946, and was authorized to reorganize itself as the Taiwan Cooperative Bank Co., Ltd. on Jan. 1, 2001. The bank went public in Jun. 2001, was listed on the stock market on Nov. 17, 2004, and was privatized on Apr. 4, 2005.
About investment of banking and financial service, the United Taiwan Bank is an oversea subsidiary bank of TCB. The bank was a joint-venture of TCB and Taiwan’s banks in Dec. 1992 and TCB had a 70% stake.
For TCB’s prospect, the bank established the wholly-owned Cooperative Bank Asset Management Co., Ltd. on Oct. 18, 2005, and established the wholly-owned Cooperative Bank Insurance Brokerage Co., Ltd. on Nov. 25, 2005.
TCB had the merger with the Farmers Bank of China on May 1, 2006. Following the merger, TCB is the continuing company, and the Farmers Bank of China has been dissolved. Following the acquisition, TCB has become the largest commercial bank on the island with 295 domestic branches. The MOF remains the largest shareholder with a 42.41% stake by Nov. 2006.
TCB is a leader in loan sector. The bank also has the widest branch network in Taiwan, allowing it to expand further into the corporate, retail market and wealth management. The bank is now planning to transform itself into a financial holding company structure once the FHC is approved by Taiwan’s government.
About BNP Paribas Assurance
BNP Paribas Assurance (www.assurance.bnpparibas.com) is the Life and Property & Casualty insurance unit of BNP Paribas. It develops and markets products and services under two commercial brands. Products distributed through the BNP Paribas retail branch network in France are branded BNP Paribas. Those distributed by other channels in France and in international markets are branded Cardif.
BNP Paribas Assurance is the world leader in creditor insurance and the fourth-largest life insurance company in France. Its life and non-life insurance units have received an AA+ rating from Standard & Poor’s. It had gross written premiums of 18 billion euros in 2007. With operations in 41 countries, BNP Paribas Assurance generated 43% of its 2007 gross written premiums outside the BNP Paribas group and 39% of gross written premiums outside France. It counts over 7,000 employees, more than 60% of them outside France.
Currently, BNP Paribas Assurance operates two insurance companies in Taiwan, namely Cardif Assurance Vie and Cardif-Assurances Risques Divers. In 2007, Cardif Assurance Vie reported gross written premiums that amounted to NT$28.3 billion, and its revenue from new premiums ranked eighth in the insurance industry in Taiwan while it had the second-largest number of channels for investment-linked insurance policies in bancassurance. For more information about BNP Paribas Assurance and Cardif, please visit their websites at www.assurance.bnpparibas.com or www.cardif.com.tw, respectively.
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