WASHINGTON Two trade groups that straddle the banking and insurance industries have decided to merge.
The Association of Banks-in-Insurance and the ABA Insurance Association late last week announced plans to form a new insurance trade group by the end of March. The new group, to be called the American Bankers Insurance Association, would bring together members from 240 banks that sell insurance as well as several major insurance companies.
The new groups lobbying priorities will be pushing to establish an optional federal charter for insurance companies, blocking new consumer privacy laws, and dissuading lawmakers and regulators from labeling single premium credit insurance products as predatory lending products, said E. Kenneth Reynolds, executive director of the Association of Banks-in-Insurance.
He said the combination made sense because each group shared in common about a dozen large-bank members. As the industry consolidates, it makes sense for its trade associations to also consolidate, said Mr. Reynolds, who would become managing director of the new group, which would be an arm of the American Bankers Association.
The merger would give Association of Banks-in-Insurance members, who are expected to approve the deal, access to vast ABA resources their groups two-member staff cant provide, such as Webmasters, meeting planners, and accountants, Mr. Reynolds said. In turn, Mr. Reynolds group would bring to the table large insurance company members such as American International Group and Jefferson Pilot.
The ABA Insurance Association has no insurance company members.
At the ABA, members had been asking for a complete set of services dealing with insurance and insurance services support, Donald Ogilvie, ABA executive vice president, said in a statement.
The ABI already offers a great product, and in an era of one-stop-shopping, we believe that combining our efforts will make it possible to provide additional services to our members at minimal cost.