SOUTH KOREAN BANKS CONTINUE BATTLE FOR MORE BANCASSURANCE
Banks and insurers in South Korea are continuing their public campaigns on the fate of bancassurance in the country, with insurers welcoming the proposal to abandon a previous plan to extend the banks’ remit in the area, while the banks have pleaded that the initial plan be maintained. In December last year the Grand National Party and the United New Democratic Party said they would back a proposed revision to an earlier law that would have increased the range of products that could be sold in banks. Insurers welcomed the move last week, but the banks have now lobbied for the initial plan to be maintained. The revision is expected to pass, mainly because agents fear that jobs will be lost if bancassurance is permitted to grow further. With an election looming, few parties want to be seen supporting legislation that could cost jobs. Banks have been permitted to sell accident insurance since October 2006 and it had been intended to extend this to motor insurance, whole-life insurance and critical illness insurance. Unless the law is revised, the extension will go through.
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