AXA Banque: An evaluation of AXA Group's entry into the French banking market.
[Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]
AXA is a French global insurance company, constituted as “a group of companies independently organized and operated according to the regulations of many different countries” (Wikipedia website, as accessed in 2009). AXA Group engages in life, health, and other forms of insurance, as well as investment management. In 2002, they decided to extend their activities to banking and bought Banque Directe out, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, in order to create AXA Banque in April 2003.
Here it seems interesting to study this move from AXA onto the banking market from a marketing and strategic point of view, (hopefully) in order to give other retail financial services companies insights for further entries into the market. Why AXA Group, which is one of the biggest insurance companies in the world, decided to take such a decision and developed a new activity very different (even if linked in some ways) from its core activity? Did they implement a new marketing strategy and what were the challenges they had to face? How did they manage to compete successfully?
Findings showed that AXA decided to launch AXA Banque because of fiercer competition from banks, because they wanted to improve customer loyalty and because insurance and banking were seen as complementary. They had to face various challenges, such as reluctance of networks, who only sold insurance previously, and a certain reluctance from customers too. Plus, they had to make insurances and banking totally interlocked.
The marketing strategy of AXA Banque appeared to be completely integrated in AXA’s, since the goal was to present bank offerings as complementary of insurance offerings, and not in replacement. AXA’s name and reputation were very helpful to make the brand known, as well as their investment capacities.
Networks and reactivity were cited by participants as key resources and capabilities that AXA Banque possess. The use of Internet banking also appeared to be rather positive and attractive, even if customers tend to deplore the lack of human contact and fear security issues.
Finally, the future evolution of AXA Banque is quite obvious: continue to attract new customers and develop the existing database; tend to a greater use of Internet banking, where customers would perform as many actions as possible by themselves; and continue to expand across Europe.
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