DOES AIB's decision to terminate its life and pensions joint venture with Aviva, with the business widely expected to go to Irish Life instead, mark the shape of things to come in the new, largely state-owned, Irish financial services sector?
The AIB/Aviva joint venture had its origins in AIB's decision to sell its life and pensions arm, Ark Life, to Aviva in 2005, with AIB retaining a 25 per cent stake. The joint venture, under which Aviva life and pensions products were sold through AIB branches did an estimated €500m-€600m worth of business every year, about half of Aviva's total life and pensions business.
Now, just over six years later, AIB is ending the joint venture. While the bank has yet to reveal who will replace Aviva, the smart money is on Irish Life. Fancy that, one state-owned financial institution, AIB, chooses another state-owned financial institution, Irish Life, to be its life and pensions provider.
Surely some coincidence.
Sunday Indo Business