HONG KONG, 6 April 2016 – FWD Hong Kong & Macau (“FWD”) today announced its strong 2015 business results with impressive growth across its life insurance, general insurance and pension operations, and a strengthened position across distribution channels — agency, bancasurrance, brokerage, as well as the new digital commerce platform launched in June 2015.
David Wong, Chief Executive Officer of FWD Hong Kong & Macau said, “I am delighted to announce FWD’s growth and strong performance in 2015 in Hong Kong & Macau. We made great strides over the past year building an enhanced customer strategy that offers our customers choice and convenience when dealing with FWD. As part of our customer-led approach, we wish to make insurance easy-to-understand and simple to purchase, while creating new and refreshing customer experiences.”
2015 Business Update
The solid performance across all the three business units of FWD in Hong Kong saw profit before tax of HK$266 million1.
- FWD’s life insurance business remained core, accounting for 81% of its profit in 2015. The 27% growth in Value of New Business (VNB) was achieved by responding to the increasing demand for health and protection products, and an expanded distribution capacity in both traditional channels and digital commerce.
- General insurance business saw a continued growth with a 4% rise in gross written premiums and a 24% growth in customer acquisition.
- Pension was again a stable source of profit generation with Assets under Management (AuM) increasing by 5% to HK$3.292 billion2, accompanied by a 21% growth in gross contribution2.
FWD enjoyed outstanding performances across all its distribution channels:
- Agency force increased by 19% to 2,174 agents in 2015, and became Hong Kong’s top-five agency force in life insurance market share measured in APE.
- Bancassurance sustained strong growth with its VNB increasing by 55%, reflecting an enhanced product mix with a focus on health & protection products.
- Brokerage achieved an impressive 89% VNB growth due to the strong partnership with over 200 broker firms in Hong Kong.
- Since launch in June 2015, the direct iFWD digital commerce channel (i.fwd.com.hk/en) collected over HKD390 million gross premiums and generated over 750,000 views, breaking new grounds for buying life insurance online.
Strategic Initiatives for 2016
While continuing to build a balanced, multi-channel distribution in 2016, FWD will focus on customer experiences with innovative products, service enhancement and development of digital commerce.
“Our vision is to change the way people feel about insurance. We want to be inspiring, relevant and dynamic in our approach to engaging our different target customers, such as simple and innovative online insurance addressing the unique and evolving needs of the e-generation, and comprehensive protection and retirement planning products for pre- and post-retirees,” David commented.
FWD is rolling out initiatives to enhance its customer engagement capability. The six service centres in Hong Kong, including the new Kwai Fong branch opened this February, are being transformed to Insurance Solutions Centres with licensed life and general insurance staff to provide holistic, one-stop insurance services such as, customer portfolio and policy review, frontline underwriting and claims assessment, as well as online-to-offline (O2O) support. The Customer Engagement Centre located also in Kwai Fong will be supporting targeted customer engagement campaigns and loyalty programmes, while providing elevated 24-hour inbound and outbound call, and live chat services.
Digital Commerce Development
FWD is investing in enriching its digital as well as O2O customer experience. Bringing life insurance online, the iFWD digital commerce platform will be providing new, easy-to-understand products in the coming year to address protection needs in everyday life, such as simple health and protection plans, and home, travel and motor insurances. The platform will also explore different partnership models.