Gaps in the availability and effectiveness of bank salesperson training is contributing to reduced levels of life insurance business being written through Australia’s major banks, says a recent study.
According to RGA Reinsurance Australia’s 2010 Australia Bancassurance Study, bancassurance in Australia is well-entrenched, but is subject to what the study refers to as ‘significant growth challenges.’
The study also identifies a gap in the availability and effectiveness of client data mining technology which, when combined with the lack of sales training, have an impact on prospecting of sales leads and the actual selling of life insurance business.
“Bank customers are still less aware than expected that they can buy life insurance through their banks.”
According to the study’s authors, specialist bancassurance consulting firm, CF Effron, the impact on bank customers of this gap in training and technology translates into a lack of awareness: “Bank customers are still less aware than expected that they can buy life insurance through their banks.”
The study found several ‘problematic’ issues it says exist between Australian banks and life companies across a broad range of elements, including: sales and marketing, product and process design, administration and operations, risk and profitability. Carmen Effron, President of C F Effron commented that the major points of concern exist in relation to:
- Effective marketing and sales strategies
- Optimising existing technology solutions
- Building existing bank customer awareness to increase life insurance sales
RGA Australia’s Vice President for Business Development, André Dreyer, said “We hope this study, and others like it, will contribute to a better understanding of how best to bridge current cultural and perceptual gaps that still divide banks and life insurers, so that bancassurance can continue to grow.”