The product mix of insurance sales among Standard Bank financial services advisors in the greater Durban area : a management perspective.
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The bank provides financial services to individuals and businesses. These services include opening bank accounts, providing loans, and vehicle asset financing. To provide clients with a comprehensive financial offering, products from life insurance companies have been introduced to the banking environment. These products include risk products (life, dread disease and disability products), and investment products (unit trusts and endowment products). Analysis of sales figures by insurance companies suggest that more investment products are sold than risk products. This study explores the reasons for the inconsistent product mix sold by the bancassurance distribution channel. The study focuses on Standard Bank financial advisors in the greater Durban area and includes their views, and those of the related broker consultants and managers, of the salient issues. A comprehensive literature review provides a background to the study. A number of reasons for the phenomenon investigated here have been provided by various writers internationally, and these constitute the point of departure for the study. The broad themes that impact on the product mix sold are identified as being the need to comply with the relevant legislation, training and product knowledge, integration with the bank, and business processes. Based on the themes mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the main objectives of the study were the following: to assess the impact of regulation on the business of the advisor; to investigate the impact of training and product knowledge on the product mix offered to the client; to explore the relationship between the advisor and the bank he finds himself in; to assess business processes in the sale of insurance products. The fieldwork was exploratory in nature with a questionnaire being administered to financial advisors, broker consultants, and managers. The results of the study were evaluated and various recommendations are made. An implementation plan is provided to aid in the implementation process.