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Tucker: AIA’s plans to break through in China

AIA CEO Mark Tucker outlines plans for AIA to catch up in bancassurance and expounds his views on the key China market and the competition in Asia

Q: Bancassurance sales improved in this set of results, but it’s something analysts still feel you could improve on. What’s your strategy?

A: Our basic philosophy is we are multi-distribution. Some customers prefer to go through a bank, some through agents, some prefer through IFAs, some direct... we must provide access on a profitable basis for us to our customers. Our primary distribution is the agency, and that’s true across Asia and will be going forward. On the bancassurance side we had good growth in the first half and are committed to doing it well. You’re right it’s something we’ve not focused on in the past as much as we will in the future.

Q: Do you see the need or advantages of a single pan-regional bancassurance relationship, of the kind that for example the Pru and Standard Chartered have?

A: I think it’s a mix of that and local partnerships. It’s about profitable partnerships, for the three different elements: the bank, the client, and us. Some of the economics of some of these deals have been challenging.

Q: China’s obviously the biggest growth area in bancassurance, but also one of the more challenging with the regulators recently putting more restrictions on sales techniques.

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