An uneasy alliance is forming between banks and insurers. Taken to the logical extreme, insurers will find themselves purely in the manufacturing business, as banks master the distribution game and capitalize on some natural advantages they hold in market management. We mentioned some in the piece last Tuesday; there are two more of special interest. One is public confidence and the other is the special nature of the transaction- account link between banks and their customers - a circumstance that can greatly reinforce the potency of a focused marketing effort.

Most surveys, including those conducted by associations serving the insurance industry, affirm that the public has a significantly higher level of awareness and trust in banks than in insurers or their agents. It is likely that people will seek to establish the kind of trust-intensive relationship that is basic to successful insurance product sales with institutions in which they currently repose the most trust.

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