Insurance Daily | November 2021   

The annual monitoring conducted by FINER on more than 7.000 financial advisors, private bankers, bank managers, insurance agents and subagents has brought to light some unexpected data.

The level of satisfaction with insurance products in field of life and non-life insurance is much higher among financial advisors (64%), bank managers (52%) and private bankers (41%) than among insurance agents and subagents (34%).

Why? However different, financial advisors, bank managers, private bankers, insurance agents and subagents all operate in two fields, asset management and protection. In time, these two fields are growing increasingly similar.

In fact, in Italy both fields have plenty of room for improvement: only 25% of savers manage their assets and only 10% has adequate insurance coverage.

Today, the motto “wealth & protection” – nothing more than a modern reinterpretation of the concept of bancassurance – is becoming increasingly popular.

The idea of bancassurance has been circulating since the 90s. However, at the time banks focused mostly on employment. And then, with non-performing loans and the crisis of subprime loans, we know how it ended.

In order to save their financial statements, banks need to focus on asset management and insurance products, which offer interesting margins. And they might also have a positive social impact.

This triggered a change of direction in the field of asset management first and on protection later, most of all due to the lingering below-zero rates.

Many believe that Italian people tend to be underinsured and little prone to asset management because of their lacking financial education. Few, however, are ready to admit that this is for the most part the fault of a scarcely proactive and little confidence-inspiring offer.

With a few noble exceptions, insurance agents have lived on the advantages deriving from RC Auto insurance policies, whose margins are currently declining.

Whilst certainly in better shape, financial advisors are now dealing with an epochal challenge linked to the generational change of their clients.

The risk is to be progressively disintermediated from a more digitalized generation of clients who will be able to count on an increasingly wide offer thank to the fintech evolution of direct investing.

It is not a matter of supporting one or the other financial professional, but rather of supporting an entire industry, as well as our country. In this sense, if they can contribute to the cause, tobacconists are also welcome.

Nicola Ronchetti