Storebrand Livsforsikring AS (Storebrand Life) has started the process of establishing a branch operation in Sweden.
By opening a Swedish branch, Storebrand will be able to offer Swedish customers greater freedom of choice with pension products offering low transfer costs and a full interest rate guarantee on pension savings.
Storebrand will sell its products through insurance brokers and pension advisers, giving it access to an attractive sector of the Swedish pensions market. The application to open a Swedish branch has been submitted to the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway, and will then be considered by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority. Storebrand expects to open for pensions business in Sweden from the start of July this year.
Good opportunities for growth
Storebrand is a financially strong company, and has generated good returns for its customers over the years. Storebrand currently has around 28% of the Norwegian pensions and life insurance market, and has for some time seen the Swedish market as an attractive area for expansion.
"The Swedish market offers good opportunities to expand our occupational pensions business. We will offer competitive products, including better interest rate guarantees and transfer rights which are already the norm for Norwegian pension savers. We know that Swedish pension savers would like to have the choice of similar products", explains Idar Kreutzer, Storebrands Group CEO.
Distribution and cost structure
Storebrand will use insurance brokers and pension advisers as its sales channel. In the first instance, the target group for Storebrands pension products in the Swedish market will be senior executives and other high-income individuals who make their own decisions on pensions. By opening a branch operation and using independent advisers, Storebrand will ensure low costs and a high degree of flexibility.
Interest rate guarantees and pension transfer rights
Storebrands pension products include a guaranteed interest rate that applies to the full value of the assets held in a pension, giving the customer a high degree of financial security. In addition, the insurance premiums involved are tailored to reflect the risk of invalidity for the individual customer, and this will create a price advantage for the target customer group.
Storebrand's pension customers also have the right to transfer their pensions on favourable terms, which means that if they so wish customers can transfer the full value of the assets held in their pension, including their share of unrealised gains, to another company. Norwegian legislation introduced the right to transfer pensions as early as 1992.