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HSBC Takes Complete Ownership Of Life Insurance Group

Editorial Staff, 4 January 2022

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The move fits in with HSBC's wider development of its wealth management proposition in Asia, a region accounting for more than half of its $1.6 trillion global wealth balances.

A subsidiary of HSBC has won regulatory approval to buy the remaining 50 per cent equity interest in HSBC Life Insurance Company, fitting in with the bank’s wider wealth management goals in Asia. 

The Shanghai office of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission granted approval for the move.

Based in Shanghai, HSBC Life China is present in 10 mainland cities covering Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhuhai, Shenzhen and Zhongshan. Established in 2009, the business now offers a range of insurance solutions covering annuity, whole life, critical illness and unit-linked insurance products.

“Growing our insurance business is key to delivering on our strategic priority of being a leading wealth manager in Asia. Full ownership of HSBC Life China brings us closer to this goal, and shows our commitment to expanding our broader wealth offering in mainland China,” David Liao, co-CEO, Asia-Pacific at HSBC, said. 

Greg Hingston, CEO designate, HSBC Global Insurance and Partnerships, added: “With full ownership, we will have greater flexibility in accelerating our growth plans. In tandem with HSBC Pinnacle, our digital and mobile wealth planning and insurance platform, we will be able to significantly expand our capabilities to serve the growing wealth and insurance needs of our customers in China, particularly in the Greater Bay Area.” (This news service reported late last year on Hingston’s appointment.)

In addition to taking full ownership of HSBC Life China, HSBC continues to invest in its insurance business in mainland China, including in Pinnacle. Through Pinnacle, HSBC has already launched a new personal financial planning business in July 2020, to provide Chinese clients with a differentiated, needs-based financial planning proposition. Nearly 700 digitally-enabled wealth planners are already on board in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Shenzhen, and HSBC aims to recruit up to 3,000 wealth planners in total by 2025.

In February 2020, HSBC combined its retail banking and wealth management, asset management, insurance and private banking businesses to create Wealth and Personal Banking which serves over 39 million customers globally. 

Asia generates around half of HSBC’s $1.6 trillion global wealth balances and nearly 65 per cent of the group’s wealth revenues. HSBC’s insurance business globally contributed to around a third of overall WPB profits and 12 per cent of group profits in H1 2021.

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