22 Oct 2020

BNZ Life for sale

1:55 pm on 22 October 2020

The BNZ is refusing to be drawn on reports that its life insurance business is up for sale.

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The Australian Financial Review has reported that the National Australia Bank, the BNZ's parent, has renewed the search for a buyer for BNZ Life.

A spokesperson for the bank said it would not comment on "speculation".

Talk about a possible sale of the $100 million business has surfaced periodically in recent years as large retail banks and financial services firms exit the life insurance sector to focus on core business.

Last year, the BNZ rejected reports that a sale of the insurance operation was being negotiated with local firm Partners Life.

The NAB sold its Australian insurer, MLC, four years ago to Nippon Life, and the Commonwealth Bank, which owns ASB, ANZ, and AMP have all sold insurance operations.

The Reserve Bank is reviewing the financial solvency rules covering the insurance industry.

Last year the RBNZ and the Financial Markets Authority criticised the life insurance industry for being too slow to change their culture and conduct.