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Insurers' Expansion Into Banking: A Look at Operating Returns

  • Carolin D. Schellhorn
  • Nicos A. Scordis
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    We investigate whether insurers can improve their operating risk-return profile by adding commercial loans, a banking product, in the traditional insurance product mix. This analysis is important for two reasons. First, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 allows insurers to buy and operate banks. Second, existing research finds that banks can improve their risk-return profile by adding insurance products, but offers no guidance on whether insurers might benefit from an expansion into banking. We use individual product data to construct insurance-only portfolios of products and insurance-banking portfolios of products. Analysis of portfolio operating returns and their standard deviations indicates that insurer-banks are unlikely to outperform full- line insurers that have carefully selected their product mix. The mere expansion of an insurance firm into banking does not necessarily result in a competitive operating risk- return profile.

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    File URL: http://www.insuranceissues.org/PDFs/251SS.pdf
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    Article provided by Western Risk and Insurance Association in its journal Journal of Insurance Issues.

    Volume (Year): 25 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 1-23

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    Handle: RePEc:wri:journl:v:25:y:2002:i:1:p:1-23
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