Thanks to the bank insurance model (BIM), which is often called "allfinanz" in Switzerland, consumers can access a broad range of financial services from a single financial services provider.
Typically, the bank insurance model refers to a joint venture between banks and insurance providers, which is why this arrangement is sometimes called bancassurance.
In this arrangement, banks use their existing sales and consulting structure to provide their customers with insurance coverage as well as banking services. Likewise, some insurance providers offer their customer banking services through similar arrangements. Profits are divided between the bank and insurance company involved.
This model is widely used in many European countries, and a number of collaborative ventures exist in Switzerland as well. The cooperation between Credit Suisse and Zurich, UBS and Swiss Life, Raiffeisen and Helvetia, PostFinance and Axa Winterthur, Bank Coop and Nationale Suisse, Generali and BSI, and Baloise Bank and Baloise Insurance are examples of BIM partnerships.
Life insurance and other complex and consultation-intensive insurance are often among those sold by banks.
In lieu of the current low-interest environment, the BIM concept has gathered an increasing amount of attention. Some banks and insurance companies are even discussing balance sheet mergers.
Life insurance comparison in Switzerland