Broker's multi-year deal replaces AXA relationship

Giles has scooped a major contract with National Australia Bank (NAB) from AXA Insurance, making it one of the consolidator’s largest accounts.

The partnership will come as a major boost to Giles as it seeks to expand its own managing general agency Ink Underwriting.

Giles will provide commercial insurance products and services to customers at NAB's two UK branches, Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank, which have a combined customer base of between 200,000 and 300,000. It will offer new business quotations from 1 October before taking over existing business in the New Year.

The broker has agreed a multi-year deal replacing AXA, which began its partnership with NAB in 2004 when the bank’s commercial insurance business was worth more than £15m in gross written premium.

That is now understood to be worth significantly less, but sources close to Giles said it was a “major and significant piece of business” and that the broker was confident of growing the book substantially over the next few years. It is believed that the majority of work will be placed through Ink, but not exclusively.

In another twist, former AXA Direct Commercial director Alan Beal – who had a key role in the relationship between AXA and NAB before retiring last year – is believed to be joining Giles to manage the NAB branch that is being set up within the company.

Giles’s retail managing director Howard Pearson said: “Giles is delighted to have been appointed by National Australia Bank as the preferred broker to customers of Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank, and looks forward to offering these customers an excellent service.”

A Clydesdale Bank spokesman added: “Our new alliance with Giles is excellent news for customers, as we can now offer a much greater choice of insurance products from an extended range of companies.”

Earlier this year, AXA’s commercial SME partnership with Lloyds Banking Group, which it held for six years, was picked up by Allianz. However, AXA has now announced a 10-year partnership with HSBC to service its SME client base from January 2010.