In the year under review, Swiss Life France posted a segment result of CHF 217 million (previous year: CHF 275 million). The 21% decline is due both to developments on the financial markets caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and to the higher costs brought about by business growth. The segment result decreased by 18% in local currency. Technical margins remained stable, with the Covid-19 pandemic having a neutral impact overall: lower claims in health and motor business due to the lockdowns were offset by higher costs for exceptional tax charges and contributions.
The French insurance market shrank by 12% in local currency in 2020 due to the ongoing low interest rate environment and to increasing regulation as a result of the pension reform. Savings and retirement business was down 20%, while health, death and disability insurance and property and casualty business grew by 2%. Swiss Life in France increased its premium volume by 6% to CHF 6.3 billion, while maintaining its focus on the quality and profitability of new business. Premiums in savings and retirement provisions rose by 14% in local currency. The share of premiums from unit-linked contracts was 57%, and thus about twice as high as the market average – thanks to the private insurer strategy. The contribution of unit-linked contracts to new business increased further to 69%. At the end of 2020, these contracts accounted for 45% of reserves in the life business. In health, death and disability insurance, premium volume increased by 2% as a result of strong sales momentum in death and disability. With its distribution of savings products, Swiss Life Banque Privée also made a positive contribution to business with high net worth individuals in 2020. Fee income rose from CHF 326 million to CHF 338 million in the year under review. This was due to the strong inflows, especially savings and pension business. In local currency this equates to an 8% increase.
In 2021, Swiss Life in France will continue to focus on existing customer segments, in particular by expanding its pension, health, death and disability offerings. Based on multichannel distribution, the company will drive the further development of its “phygital” model, which best combines the personal, physical customer relationship with digitalisation and services.
Key figures for France
|Amounts in CHF million||2020||2019||+/-|
|GROSS WRITTEN PREMIUMS, POLICY FEES AND DEPOSITS RECEIVED||6 277||5 901||6%|
|Net earned premiums||3 503||2 828||24%|
|Fee and commission income||338||326||4%|
|TOTAL INCOME||4 618||4 093||13%|
|Net insurance benefits and claims||–2 841||–2 410||18%|
|Operating expense||–1 076||–1 072||0%|
|TOTAL EXPENSE||–4 401||–3 818||15%|
|Assets under control||50 135||46 055||9%|
|Insurance reserves||40 179||36 935||9%|
|Number of employees (full-time equivalents)||2 576||2 455||5%|