By Cyril Tuohy
Great-West Financial posted nearly $465 million in life insurance sales through banks in 2012, a 9 percent increase over the previous industry record of $426 million set in 2011, the company announced.
Chris Bergeon, vice president, financial institutions markets with Great-West Financial, said the company is “committed to this industry and to the bank marketplace."
"We work closely with bank advisors to identify their needs,” Bergeon said in a statement. “Then we align our products and services to meet those needs.”
Great-West Financial sold $459 million in single-premium life insurance products through banks in 2012, an increase of 57 percent from 2011, the company said.
Great-West Financial manages $201.5 billion in assets for 5.2 million retirement, insurance and annuity clients and plans to add new products this year, the company also said.
"We're working hard to help bank advisors by further simplifying the sales process and providing valuable life insurance and retirement income offerings," Bergeon said. "Our goal is to be the nation's trusted financial partner to and through retirement."
For financial advisors, the bank sales numbers bear watching because banks have made inroads against affiliated and independent agent channels. Though agents dominate life insurance sales, and only 2 percent of life insurance is currently sold through banks, distribution alternatives to financial advisors have grown.
Members of Generation X and Generation Y, many of whom have stronger relationships with banks than they do with financial advisors, would consider buying a life insurance policy from their banks, according to a report published last year from LIMRA, an industry research and consulting group.
More recently, sales of life policies have been boosted by low interest rates on fixed annuities, which make single premium life policies more attractive by comparison, and by the higher cost of variable annuities.
Banks have seen big growth in individual life sales in 2008-2009 as a result, according to research conducted by LIMRA.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer living in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. He has also written about food, restaurants and travel. He can be reached at Cyril.email@example.com.
© Entire contents copyright 2013 by InsuranceNewsNet.com, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted without the expressed written consent from InsuranceNewsNet.com.