HSBC is understood to be headhunting key staff from leading protection providers in preparation for its launch into the intermediary market in the second half of this year.
The news comes after it was revealed that general insurance firm Fortis is set to push into protection and is believed to have recruited former Friends Provident head of protection marketing Ian Jefferies.
A source says: “HSBC has approached a number of key protection staff at different providers and has asked them who they would recruit if they were to build a team for HSBC’s new intermediary offering.”
It is planning to expand protection distribution aggressively and is making deals with third-party distributors.
However, an HSBC spokeswoman says: “We have not been actively headhunting staff for this division.”
Ex-Munich Re protection specialist Martin Werth ,who is now at Fortis, will not comment on whether the firm will be entering the UK protection market except to confirm it is conducting a review of the sector.