Big bank sells off NZ life insurance arm in major deal

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Westpac Group has announced the sale of its New Zealand life insurance business to local insurer Fidelity Life for NZ$400 million.

The sale will be part of a long-term strategic alliance, and Fidelity Life will enter into a 15 year life insurance distribution arrangement with Westpac NZ.

The majority of the acquisition will be funded by Fidelity Life’s largest shareholder NZ Super Fund, along with new investor Ngāi Tahu Holdings.

Westpac NZ acting chief executive Simon Power said that Fidelity Life are “leaders in the life insurance industry,” and said the sale would not affect customer’s insurance policies.

“We’re delighted to be entering into this alliance. In talking to Fidelity Life we were extremely impressed with their single-minded focus on their customers,” Power said.

“Westpac Life customers do not need to take any action. Nothing changes with their policies and we know they’ll be in great hands with Fidelity Life.”

“As part of the agreement, we will also be working with Fidelity Life to offer life insurance products to our customers for the next 15 years,” he said.

“Life insurance forms a vital part of financial planning for the future and will continue to feature in conversations with our customers to help them achieve their goals.”

Fidelity Life chief executive Melissa Cantell said the partnership with Westpac NZ will be based on “a shared focus on delivering good customer outcomes.”

“This is a true partnership with Westpac NZ, who share our aspiration to reimagine life insurance and help more New Zealanders protect their way of life,” Cantell said.

“The partnership will also allow us to leverage the investments we’re already making in our customer experience, data and technology, as well as our strong New Zealand brand, to make the transition a smooth one for Westpac Life customers and team members.

“We’re excited to be welcoming Westpac Life and Ngāi Tahu Holdings to Fidelity Life.”

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