Chinese Bank Launches Insurance Business

Boosting a trend in the insurance business, Bank of Communications has launched its mainland insurance business in a step towards its goal of becoming a full-service financial conglomerate.


The South China Morning Post says that Bocom, China's 5th largest lender, plans to more than double capital investment in the newly acquired venture with Commonwealth Bank of Australia.


"By sharing the bank's resources, including its networks, client base, sales channels and IT systems, there will be great growth potential for us," Guan Huanfei, general manager of BoCommLife Insurance, said at an opening ceremony in Shanghai.


The Post says that Bocom obtained government approval last September to buy a 51% stake in China Life-CMG Life Assurance (now BoCommLife) from China Life Insurance, becoming the first lender on the mainland to control an insurer following a nearly 20-year ban.


According to the Post, Bank of China and Bank of Beijing have also obtained regulatory approval to invest in insurers, while Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank are seeking such opportunities.


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