Bancassurance, the combination of banking and insurance in the same corporation, is an established strategic option in Europe. In the United States, the lifting of regulatory barriers-led if not inspired by Citigroup-is making bancassurance a possibility.

But a corporate merger is only a first step to merging products or operations. The extent of integration depends on three things: product features, workflow characteristics, and technology. Only where all three are favorably aligned can bancassurance really happen.

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