Last week, Zurich acquired ANZ’s Australian retail life insurance business for $2.1bn, making Zurich the number one player in the Australian retail life insurance sector. The deal gives the insurance behemoth the right to sell its policies via ANZ’s network of 680 bank branches for the next 20 years.

Bancassurance has always been a popular distribution model but has been difficult to monetise effectively given the different interests, skills, experience and incentives of bank branch staff from insurance agents / intermediaries. Bank staff, for example, need support to advise on, and sell, complex insurance products yet the tools at their disposal historically have often been at best limited. The insurance industry needs to continue to take inspiration from the technology and retail sectors where digital customer experience is most advanced.  A lot is happening in this space but there is still more to do.