Equity gets nod to setup life assurance unit
Lender Equity Group has received the regulator’s nod to set up a new life insurance business.
The bank received the licence on Monday which will see it subsequently operationalise Equity Life Assurance, a new underwriting subsidiary for the giant lender.
According to Equity Group Managing Director James Mwangi, the goal of the lender is to deepen the penetration of insurance by simplification.
“The biggest contribution we hope to make is just trying to simplify insurance. We may not do what we did in banking but we are hoping we can make insurance simple to be understood by ordinary people,” he said.
Further, Mwangi says the lender will be banking on the trust created by its brand in three decades of its banking business to grow the new business.
Mwangi reckons insurance will be a key pillar in Nairobi’s appraisal into a global financial centre.
“We are convinced that Nairobi will eventually emerge as a global financial sector and insurance will be a very significant plank in that effort. Given our background in banking, we could complement what the insurance sector has been doing,” he added.
On his part, CEO to the Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) Godfrey Kiptum says the entry of the lending group will serve to expand the reach of insurance in the country.
“The sector has grown in the past few years. We are looking at closing the protection gap by bringing more people under insurance,” he said.
The penetration of insurance in the country remains low at sub three per cent according to the latest available industry statistics.
Equity joins the likes of Absa Bank Kenya and Co-operative Bank which run insurance businesses known as bancassurance.