PNB MetLife insurance company and Kerala-based ESAF Small Finance Bank have entered into a strategic partnership to provide customers across the ESAF SFB network with access toan expanded financial services suite, while also furthering the Indian Government’s agenda of holistic financial inclusion.
Ashish Kumar Srivastava, MD & CEO, PNB MetLife India Insurance Co, Ltd. Told media here today that this alliance will enable PNB MetLife to reach both existing and new ESAF SFB customers withinsuranceproducts, while ESAF SFB will be able to provide its customers an access to a wide array of life insurance products and services. As per the Corporate Agency agreement, ESAF SFB will leverage its outlets tooffer PNB Metlife’s life insurance products.
PNB MetLife, as of December 31, 2018, is present in 107 locations across India with access to over 100 million customers and distribution network of over 11,000 bank branches, Srivastava said, adding thatESAF Small Finance Bank is the newest addition to the list which includes Punjab National Bank, Karnataka Bank and Jammu &Kashmir Bank.
K Paul Thomas, MD & CEO, ESAF Small Finance Bank, said that many middle and lower socio-economic class families from non-metro cities do not have access to the services offered by the formal financesector and this partnership with PNB MetLife would enable fulfilling the company’s vision of enabling its customers – existing and new – to understand the value of life insurance better, and thereby make amore informed decision.
He said ESAF SFB’s primary focus is on expanding its banking horizon to new unbanked areas while maintaining its presence in urban, semi-urban and rural unbanked areas. Describing ESAF’s journey from a small house named “Little” at Thrissur in Kerala in 1992, he said the ESAF Society was launched with a bigger vision of sustainable holistic transformation of the poor and marginalized that was becoming a reality today.
The success of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh reinforced the vision of the ESAF founder and MD – K Paul Thomas – when he launched in 1995 Micro Enterprises Development (MED) services that resulted in the formation of ESAF Microfinance and Investments Pvt. Ltd in 2008, he said adding that ESAF has adopted a unique social business strategy – with a triple bottom approach – emphasizing on “People, Planet and Profit.”