The merger by absorption of the insurance company Caja España vida by Unicorp Vida (insurance company held at 50% by Unicaja Banco and Santalucia), approved by the general meetings of shareholders of both institutions last year, is now effective as the authorization from the Directorate General for Insurances and Pension Funds has been received, dated 26 March.
The company, which will continue as exclusive distributor of its life-risk, savings and investment products and pension plans, throughout the more than 1,100 branches of Unicaja Banco, is held at 50% by the financial institution and by the insurance company Santalucía.
After this merger by absorption of Caja España Vida, derived from the merger by absorption of EspañaDuero by Unicaja Banco, Unicorp Vida strengthens its market position, with more than 500,000 customers and 800,000 policies, and manages resources for €5,436 million.
The management committee, with the incorporation of Francisco Anel, will continue to be headed by José Luis Jiménez. In addition, the team of Caja España Vida has integrated into Unicorp Vida, reinforcing its scope and skills to continue providing support and coverage to Unicaja Banco in the distribution of products and services throughout the country.
For José Luis Berrendero, Unicaja Banco’s General Director of Business, this transaction strengthens Unicaja Banco’s consolidated model of bancassurance, consisting in the marketing of life insurances and pension plans -the latter being one of the lines in the bank’s strategic plan-, together with one of the main national groups.
According to Rodrigo Fernández-Avello, General Director of Life and Pensions at Santalucía, ‘In the thrilling context of transformation in which we are immersed, the strong and certain support of the shareholders, Santalucía and Unicaja Banco to this merger, brings an additional strength and solvency, which makes us to be even more committed to the purpose of continuing offering the best solutions in products and services for Unicaja Banco customers. Some of these products are nowadays a reference in the market, and we will continue advancing towards an offer adapted to each customer profile, with products which incorporate specialized coverage and pension plans among the most profitable in their categories’.
About Unicaja Banco
Unicaja Banco is a financial institution with a proven financial soundness and a business trajectory that spans over one hundred years, focused on retail and proximity banking. With three million customers, it has a leadership position in Andalusia and Castilla y Leon, its home regions and where it has 80% of its more than 1,100 branches. Other distinctive features of Unicaja Banco are its solvency, liquidity and balance sheet quality, resulting from the prudent management of its commercial strategy.
Santalucía, a company with nearly 100 years of experience covering risks that affect families, is the origin and parent of Grupo Santalucía. As at the end of 2017, the Group has consolidated income for €2,115 million and total assets for €11,652 million. The company has increased its total business, expanding the Life and Pension portfolio, and its distribution capacity towards the bancassurance channel.
In 2018, AM Best has upgraded Santalucia Financial Strength Rating (FSR) to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent), and the Long-term Issuer Credit Rating (ICR) to ‘a’ from ‘a-‘, both with stable outlook.
Although its main market is in Spain, the Group is implementing a significant internationalization strategy, being present in Portugal, Colombia, Mexico and Argentina.