UOB and Prudential to form regional bancassurance alliance; insurer will buy UOB Life

Singapore - 6 January 2010

Customers to benefit from UOB Group’s strong distribution network and Prudential’s comprehensive product suite

United Overseas Bank (UOB) and Prudential Corporation Asia (Prudential) today announced an alliance to grow their bancassurance business in Asia. In conjunction with the bancassurance alliance, UOB will sell its subsidiary, UOB Life Assurance Limited (UOB Life), to Prudential for a total consideration of S$428 million.

Under the bancassurance arrangement, UOB in Singapore and its bank subsidiaries in Indonesia and Thailand -- UOB Buana and UOB (Thai) -- will distribute Prudential’s life, accident and health insurance products through their respective bank branches for an initial term of 12 years. UOB Group operates more than 400 bank branches across the three markets.

The arrangement delivers significant benefits to both partners and their customers. For the UOB Group, the partnership with Prudential will enable the Group to focus on strengthening its regional insurance distribution capability and to accelerate growth of its bancassurance business with a well-established and credible partner. Customers in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand will have access to Prudential’s innovative and market-leading portfolio of insurance products.

For Prudential, the alliance will further consolidate its leading position in Singapore, whilst significantly expanding and enhancing its bancassurance network in Thailand and Indonesia. In the three markets, Prudential’s life, accident and health insurance products will be distributed through the UOB Group’s retail bank branches. Prudential will also extend its expertise in the areas of insurance sales management, staff training and customer support, to build a strong bancassurance platform together with the UOB Group. This partnership will further enhance the UOB Group’s capability in delivering the best products to suit customers’ financial needs.

Prudential is one of the largest life insurers in Singapore and Indonesia, with strong distribution capabilities through its tied agency force as well as bank and non-bank distribution channels. In Thailand, Prudential’s life insurance products are principally distributed through direct and telemarketing channels. The addition of the bancassurance partnership with UOB (Thai) will substantially increase the scale of its operations there.

Commenting on the agreement, Mr Barry Stowe, Chief Executive of Prudential Corporation Asia, said, “Our agreement with UOB Group demonstrates Prudential’s continued focus on growing in the Asia region and our commitment to investing in opportunities that deliver superior value for our customers, for our partners and for our shareholders. Prudential works closely with many of Asia's largest financial groups to create world class distribution partnerships, and we look forward to building a successful relationship with UOB across the region.”

Mr Wee Ee Cheong, UOB Group’s Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said, “This partnership marks another step in the Group’s continued efforts in building a premier regional bank. The tie-up allows us to leverage our distribution strength and harness the manufacturing expertise of a leading life insurer, to jointly accelerate the growth of our bancassurance business regionally. We are delighted to have Prudential as our partner in this development and look forward to working together to deliver greater value to our customers and other stakeholders.”

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