Magazine article American Banker

Provident of Md.: Link with VantisLife to Boost Cross-Sell

Magazine article American Banker

Provident of Md.: Link with VantisLife to Boost Cross-Sell

Article excerpt

Provident Bank in Baltimore sees its recent distribution alliance with VantisLife Insurance Co. as a way to cross-sell its product line and make insurance a more prominent offering to customers.

Don Sheeler, a managing director at the unit of Provident Bankshares Corp., said that it varies its customer targeting depending on which product it is trying to sell. "It really runs the gamut since we're a high performance checking bank," said Mr. Sheeler. "We target those that just graduated from school to seniors preparing for retirement. And the more affluent population too."

The partnership with VantisLife is a great opportunity to cross-sell, said Mr. Sheeler, though banks do not usually lead with insurance products. "People are becoming more comfortable with banks selling insurance," he said, however.

Mr. Sheeler said Provident Bank competes with "1-800 term life providers and online providers as well." He explained that the bank competes with institutions that are able to produce a quote quickly.

Regarding insurance sales volume, Mr. Sheeler said, it is unclear how much revenue insurance products generate for Provident, though he called it a good-sized number. "Insurance is still in its infancy for us, and we want to try everything to see what works," he said.

"Insurance is another way to strengthen our platform," Mr. Sheeler said.

Provident also sells single-premium products, said Debbie Gorsche, the bank's insurance product manager. It sells term and whole life insurance as well. The VantisLife agreement, which was announced Monday, will let Provident Bank customers buy life insurance policies in local branches.

In addition to offering a new suite of insurance products, Mr. Sheeler said, technology plays an important role in the alliance.

The greatest advantage, he said, is that Provident will be able to process its data a lot faster and more smoothly. …

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