HSBC Insurance (Singapore) today announced sweeping upgrades to its business with the launch of a new brand, HSBC Life Singapore, two new insurance products, and an expanded distribution line through independent financial advisory firms.
The business overhaul reflects the overall growth and evolving composition of Singapore's insurance market compromising both Singapore's increasingly ageing and wealthy domestic population and the growth of international citizens seeking more sophisticated wealth and insurance solutions in Singapore.
HSBC Life Singapore is expanding its distribution channels by partnering with key IFA firms who currently serve a broad spectrum of retail to emerging affluent customers. This partnership complements HSBC Life Singapore's current distribution model which includes a bancassurance arrangement with HSBC Bank and third-party distribution arrangements with other financial institutions.
The number of HNWIs in Asia is expected to swell from 8 million in 2017 to almost 18 million by 2022."
Carlos Vazquez, CEO, HSBC Life Singapore said: "Meeting our customers' protection needs is key to our growth and expanding into financial advisory firms in Singapore will enable us to reach out to a new group of customers who can benefit from HSBC's new product offerings. We are excited about the new opportunities that these partnerships will bring as we are committed to serve local customers' needs."
He added: "We will develop meaningful propositions to ensure we help our partners in offering relevant and compelling solutions to meet their customers' needs."
New protection plans
HSBC Life Singapore has introduced two new whole-life plans, Life Protect Advantage and Emerald Legacy Life Plan.
In 2018, HSBC Life Singapore expanded its product manufacturing capabilities to ensure it offers a holistic range of products and solutions that meet the diverse needs of its customers across their different life-stages. It plans to introduce more product-first innovations which will close the protection gap that Singaporeans are currently facing.
In particular, HSBC Singapore Life will develop more protection-geared products that can support its customers' long term financial and retirement planning needs.
The brand will be changed from HSBC Insurance (Singapore) to HSBC Life Singapore which better reflects HSBC's brand promise. Vazquez further explained: "Our new brand is symbolic of how we are committed to grow our Singapore business. In the past year, we have revamped core elements of our business, increased investments in capabilities and made some key senior appointments that will get us ready for the new phase of growth."
Asian wealth opportunity
The revamp is part of HSBC's previously announced ambitions to grow wealth revenues in Asia by at least $1bn by 2020. Almost half of this revenue growth ($400m) will come from its global insurance business.
HSBC Life Singapore plays a key role in contributing to this growth given its ability to tap Singapore's strong reputation as a regional hub for the insurance and reinsurance industry in Asia.
According to Boston Consulting Group's 2018 Global Wealth Report, the number of HNWIs in Asia is expected to swell from 8 million in 2017 to almost 18 million by 2022. Singapore is also a top-three offshore booking centre globally, managing $1.1trn of personal wealth.
These positive growth trends bode well for the Singapore insurance industry which last year saw new premiums growing by 4% to S$4.24bn from S$4.09bn in 2017. In particular, the demand for annual premium products has risen 7% across 2018 with growth trajectory expected to continue into this year.
A study has shown that only 20% of Singaporeans have adequate critical illness protection coverage, and there remains a S$893bn coverage gap3 while offshore insurance is becoming a major driver of industry growth. As such, HSBC Life Singapore is optimistic of the strong growth potential both in the domestic as well as the offshore market.