Swiss Life and Valiant are in discussions to create a distribution partnership, which could result in the insurer taking a stake in the bank, according to Swiss newspaper Sonntag.
Reuters reports the publication cites sources familiar with the matter and says the agreement would see a bancassurance model adopted, similar to the one previously pursued by Zurich Insurance and Winterthur, where an insurance firm sells its products to clients of a bank.
Zurich-based Swiss Life has cooperated with other companies in the past, including German AWD for €1.2 billion ($1.6 million), with mixed results.
AWD was struggling with various problems, such as client advisors leaving and claims it improperly pushed products in Germany and Austria, a charge AWD denies. Swiss Life rebranded the business as Swiss Life Select earlier in 2013.
Under these unique partnerships insurance companies can expand their customer bases without needing to increase their sales force or paying commission to agents, while banks are able to earn additional revenue by selling insurance-related products.
By Gary Cooper