As more commercial banks seek to diversify, they are set to float their own insurance subsidiaries in no distant future, especially when the suspended insurance industry recapitalisation exercise resumes.
Most of the banks are already looking at opportunities to diversify their income and have identified the insurance sector as an opportunity to do that.
Some banks have already submitted applications to regulatory bodies to operate a Holding structure (HoldCo) that would give them leverage to float insurance subsidiaries.
Already, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), Access Bank, Ecobank, First Bank, among others, already have a bancassurance relationship and stake in some underwriting firms, while Unity Bank, Zenith Bank, Enterprise Bank and Stanbic IBTC Bank now have fully owned insurance subsidiaries.
Until recently, First Bank too had a major stake in FBNInsurance before it divested from it.
More banks are looking at having their respective subsidiaries when recapitalisation exercise resumes and as soon as they are able to get approval to operate a HoldCo structure.
Earlier, Access Bank group had stated that it was considering having an insurance brokerage subsidiary soon in a bid to leverage on the insurance market opportunity of $150bn in countries with Access Bank presence.