Following the closure of Suncorp’s dealer groups, the company has now decided to focus on the direct life insurance channel.
Speaking after the release of the company’s half-year financial results, Suncorp Group chief executive Michael Cameron explained that without its Guardian Advice and Suncorp Financial Planning businesses, the company will now be focused on providing insurance products to consumers directly.
“The most important thing is what has happened to the customers, and they have continued to be well serviced and without any issues,” Mr Cameron said of the company’s decision to exit the advice business.
“Our focus is really on the direct channel, which we have seen significant growth of about 20 per cent period-on-period, and that seems to be where the interest is from a customer perspective and I think we have executed that process in a very diligent way,” he said.
Mr Cameron also added that the closure of the dealer groups will not affect the company’s earnings in the future.
“It certainly won’t hurt the earnings going forward as we have seen a fairly seamless transition as we have exited that business, and the majority of the planners associated with that business have moved on to new financial planning organisations,” he said.
Reporting its half-year financial results last week, Suncorp’s life insurance business reported a $53 million net profit after tax for the period, down 38 per cent on the previous corresponding period.
In a statement issued via the ASX, Suncorp said total in-force annual premiums are up 5.2 per cent, “reflecting life’s continued focus on retention and value over volume, [and] ensuring new business is written on a more sustainable footing”.