DUBLIN, Ireland / 14th February 2005 // 3Q Solutions, a Dublin-based provider of financial planning and wealth management solutions assists Lafferty in its research into the Irish life assurance market.
Young recently spoke with the editor of the Life Insurance International vNewsletter at Lafferty, covering topics such as the pension gap, Special Savings Incentive Accounts (SSIA), distribution and the role of the Independent Financial Advisor (IFA), international life insurance and endowment mortgages.
According to the Lafferty newsletter, "the (Irish) industry still faces some major challenges. The Irish government and life insurers themselves are concerned at the countryâs huge pensionâs gap, sales of life insurance policies through bank branches are still relatively slow, and regulators are paying special attention to the financial industry where many of the excesses of the 1980s have been coming home to roost in recent years".
"The last figure I saw showed that 52% of the population is not saving enough for retirement, so half of the population is there to be taken. People are inadequately funding their lifestyles by anywhere from 40% to 70% of their balance sheet. You will hear about people investing in property and there is an overseas property market, but thatâs only a niche â the top 4% of the population," commented Young.
"Bancassurance is a sleeping giant that will dominate the market. What youâll find in the future is that instead of there being banks, insurance companies and stock brokers, youâll have financial services distributors. Thatâs where itâs going. Both Bank of Ireland and AIB have realised that separate branding of their life insurance subsidiaries hasnât done them any good. Whatâs happening now is that they are segmenting their customer base at a group level instead of working them through different silos. Thereâs a little bit more interaction between the bank and the life insurance company. Below them, changes are happening in the mid-tier banks and insurance companies. The second-tier banks are getting more focused," said Young.
Industry experts from Friends First, AIB, Irish Life and Permanent, Bank of Ireland and the IIF also contributed their comments to this newsletter.