Jul 28, 2011, 04.56 PM | Source: PTI
The country's second largest public sector lender, Punjab National Bank (PNB), today said it has selected Metlife as its partner for a proposed foray into the life insurance segment.
"We have considered offers made by various companies and selected Metlife as our partner," PNB Chairman and Managing Director K R Kamath told reporters here after announcing the bank's quarterly numbers.
PNB had earlier shortlisted 10 entities from a preliminary list of 41 and further narrowed it to three for forming a partnership in the life insurance venture.
The three shortlisted life insurers were Bharti AXA, Aviva and Metlife.
Metlife India stakeholders include Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Shapoorji Pallonji and other investors, besides Metlife of the US.
Last year, PNB announced plans for a strategic partnership with an insurance player. The bank said it has decided to participate in the life insurance venture through "a corporate agency tie-up along with equity participation in an existing Indian life insurance company".
PNB is among the few banks with a large branch network that do not have a stake in a life insurance company.
Last year, PNB decided to part ways with its foreign partner in a proposed life insurance joint venture it set up four years ago.
PNB bought the entire 26% stake held by Principal Financial Group and the 32% participating interest of domestic firm UK (Berger) Paints in Principal PNB Life Insurance Company Ltd.
PNB's stake in the proposed joint venture was 30%, while that of Vijaya Bank was 12%.
Commenting on the deal with PNB, Metlife India MD Rajesh Relan said the partnership would help the company grow into a top-tier life insurer and more than double its market share.
"We are proud to be associated with one of the most recognised financial brands in India," Relan said.
"The partnership with MetLife will provide PNB insurance expertise and bancassurance capabilities that will be an asset to the bank as it pursues its growth strategy in India and seeks to expand its leadership in the Indian financial services market," he said.
"This partnership has the potential to drive the company into the top tier of Indian life insurers and more than double its market share," he added.
"This will further strengthen the company's position as a leader in the rapidly expanding bank distribution channel," Relan said.