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Switzerland

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In the reporting year, Swiss Life managed a 7% improvement in its segment result in its home market of Switzerland, to CHF 812 million (2015: CHF 761 million). Main drivers of the increase were the improved savings result and the higher cost and fee result. Direct investment income was at the previous year’s level (CHF 3.0 billion).

Long-term initiatives contributed to this result, such as the proven distribution strategy with the sales force channels, Swiss Life Select plus brokers and partners, the expansion of the service and product offering, increased customer orientation and a renewed reduction in operating costs.

According to the Swiss Insurance Association (SIA), life insurance premiums in Switzerland fell to CHF 30.5 billion, down 6% on the previous year. In Group life business, the market posted an overall premium decline of 6.2% and a 5.4% reduction in premiums for individual life business. In 2016 Swiss Life posted total premium volume of CHF 9.9 billion, a decline of 6%. Group life business accounted for 85 % of this result. Swiss Life increased its market share of group life business increased to 35.1% (2015: 34.9%). In individual life business, a market share of 19.8% (2015: 20.6%) was slightly lower year-on-year due to the strict focus on profitability. Swiss Life remains market leader in its home market.

Operating expenses fell by 5% to CHF 886 million, a reduction due to lower acquisition costs resulting from a decline in new business and lower writedowns on deferred acquisition costs. Operational administrative costs in 2016 were sustainably decreased (−1%).

Insurance benefits, including changes in insurance reserves, fell by 10% to CHF 11.0 billion, a reduction mainly attributable to lower savings premiums and the associated decline in requirement for reserves.

The range of individual insurance offerings saw continued emphasis on capital-efficient products. Successful roll-outs like Swiss Life Premium Comfort and Swiss Life Premium Immo Living have shown how economic conditions can be mastered without neglecting customers’ fundamental requirements: predictability and security. Swiss Life Calmo IncomePlan, an innovative product that provides a guaranteed income to top up AHV and pension fund benefits, has also proved popular. Innovative package solutions will also take on increasing significance in years to come. Pivotal backbone products such as Swiss Life FlexSave remained prominent in 2016, thanks to consistent guidance of the range of offerings and a meticulous price and benefit adjustments.

Investment business for private clients received a further push as part of the expansion of the product range. Thus, in addition to major progress with existing investment products, autumn 2016 saw the launch of two completely new investment products, Swiss Life Premium Delegate and Choice. Both solutions showcase Swiss Life Asset Managers’ investment expertise. The new offering enjoys pride of place in marketing in 2017.

The existing product and services range for corporate clients, which covers all group life needs, has been even more closely aligned with employer and policyholder requirements and enhanced with additional services beyond occupational provisions. During the year under review the focus was on expanding semi-autonomous solutions, which are enjoying increasing acceptance in the market and now make up 26% of new business. With its portal solutions for companies, Swiss Life is enhancing existing customer relationships and acquiring key competitive advantages designed to maintain and further expand its market leadership.

Customers experience Swiss Life as the leading provider of comprehensive life and pensions and financial solutions for a longer self-determined life. In this respect, the expansion of its service and product offering and a complete, synchronised customer experience via analogue and digital channels are a fundamental part of Swiss Life in Switzerland’s strategy. The distribution successes – both in the core business and in the additional product categories of comprehensive life and pensions provision – testify to Swiss Life’s increased customer orientation.

For 2017, Swiss Life in Switzerland will focus on its long-term initiatives to strengthen its core business as part of the “Swiss Life 2018” strategy, to strengthen its product, service and advisory offering and expand the scope for customer access. Digital transformation initiatives including the use of analogue and digital channels play a key role in this strategy.

Key figures for Switzerland

Amounts in CHF million20162015+/-
GROSS WRITTEN PREMIUMS, POLICY FEES AND DEPOSITS RECEIVED9 87610 534–6%
Net earned premiums9 58410 217–6%
Fee and commission income23319917%
Financial result3 3473 803– 12%
Other income42218–81%
TOTAL INCOME13 20614 437–9%
Net insurance benefits and claims–11 007–12 251–10%
Policyholder participation–463–4552%
Interest expense–39–39–2%
Operating expense–886–931–5%
TOTAL EXPENSE–12 394–13 676–9%
SEGMENT RESULT81276117%
Assets under control115 627108 7316%
Insurance reserves93 69989 9064%
Number of employees (full-time equivalents)2 0622 0162%


1 restated
2 adjusted for the Group’s internal trademark fees, both levied and received (Swiss Life brand)
3 without interest income and guarantee fees between the segments

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