Malaysia-based Maybank’s insurance unit-Etiqa is planning to introduce the Islamic insurance system or Takaful in the Philippines.
However, in order to do so, Maybank is in search of a partner in the form of a local Islamic bank with whom it would collaborate to provide its Islamic insurance services.
Chris Eng Poh Yoon, chief strategy officer of Etiqa Insurance and Takaful in Malaysia told the media, “We’re taking a look at the takaful market here in the Philippines. We don’t have a takaful agency force right now in the Philippines but what we can easily grow in this business is if the regulations are in place, and if there is an Islamic bank that has been set up for distribution access to the Muslim population. Then we can easily just plug in our system to that bank.”
He added, “We need that bank to make that first step because they have the distribution reach then we will follow through.”
Currently, Al Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines is the only Islamic bank operating in the country. But according to Chris Eng Poh Yoon, Al Amanah’s reach in the market is significantly small for Maybank to consider a partnership with regard to Islamic insurance.
According to Etiqa Executive Vice President in Strategic Division Diana Mohamad, the company wants to roll out its health-related products which could cover 68 critical illnesses such as cancer, stroke, high blood pressure in the Philippines by the first quarter of 2020.
As a part of its campaign to change the perception of insurance, Etiqa plans to make insurance easier to distribute among the under privileged Filipinos.
Recently, Maybank signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Bank of Cambodia to promote collaboration in cross border payments and remittances between the two nations.