"Aegon is delighted to join with the highly respected banking network of CAJA CANTABRIA to provide life insurance and pension products to customers throughout the Cantabria region", said Aegon Chairman and CEO Donald J. Shepard.
Dutch life insurance and pension company Aegon and Spanish savings bank Caja de Ahorros de Santander y Cantabria ("CAJA CANTABRIA") have reached an agreement to establish a jointly owned bancassurance partnership. The new partnership will sell Aegon life insurance and pension products through CAJA CANTABRIA's network of branches, located primarily in the northern Spanish province of Cantabria (Santander).
The agreement will further strengthen Aegon's bancassurance capabilities in Spain's rapidly growing life insurance and pension markets, and will allow CAJA CANTABRIA to extend the range of products it is able to offer its customers. The agreement will complement Aegon's existing partnerships in Spain with Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo, Caja de Ahorros y Monte de Piedad de Navarra and Caja de Badajoz. With this latest agreement, Aegon now has access to almost 1,800 bank branches across Spain.
"Aegon is delighted to join with the highly respected banking network of CAJA CANTABRIA to provide life insurance and pension products to customers throughout the Cantabria region", said Aegon Chairman and CEO Donald J. Shepard. "We are committed to expanding Aegon's presence in Spain and look forward to working with our new partner to maximize the benefits of our respective capabilities."
In 2006, CAJA CANTABRIA reported a pre-tax net income of EUR 68 million. As part of the partnership, the Spanish savings bank will provide exclusive access to its network of 170 branches, covering some 500,000 clients. Aegon will, meanwhile, contribute its considerable insurance know-how and expertise. Aegon Spain will carry out all back-office functions for the new partnership.
The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2007 and is subject to regulatory approval.
ABOUT CAJA CANTABRIA CAJA CANTABRIA is one of the Cantabria region’s leading providers of financial services. Some 95 percent of the inhabitants of Cantabria say they are customers of the savings bank. CAJA CANTABRIA has total assets and deposits of EUR 17 billion. The savings bank has over 500,000 customers across a network of 170 branches, located mainly in Cantabria, but with presence also in the Madrid, Cataluña, Castilla y León, País Vasco, Asturias and Aragón regions. In addition to the savings bank, CAJA CANTABRIA Group also includes a number of other financial subsidiaries, such as Bancantabria, Cantabria Fondos and Segurcantabria. This structure enables CAJA CANTABRIA to offer a wide range of different financial products and services including not only traditional savings, credit and investment products, but also more specialized products such as leasing, factoring, investment funds and insurance. Last year, CAJA CANTABRIA reported a pre-tax net income of EUR 68 million, an increase of 29% from the previous year. Over the past six years the savings bank has grown rapidly, tripling its loans to customers, while its deposits are now 2.9 times higher than they were in 2000. At the same time, CAJA CANTABRIA has considerably improved the quality of its loan portfolio and more than doubled its profit, a reflection of the strides the savings bank has made in recent years to further improve returns on investments. Recently, the international credit ratings agency Moody’s rated CAJA CANTABRIA’s short-term debt at P-1, the highest possible, confirming the savings bank’s excellent liquidity position. Moody’s also upped its rating on CAJA CANTABRIA’s long-term deposits from A3 to A2. As one of Cantabria’s leading private investors, CAJA CANTABRIA attaches great importance to the social and economic development of its region and each year devotes an important part of its earnings to funding projects aimed at improving the region’s towns and the lives of more than 200,000 people.