HSBC Bank and Aviva have announced plans for the creation of a joint venture, under the "HSBC Insurance" brand, that aims to be a top-10 player in the UK general insurance industry.

Under the terms of the planned joint venture, HSBC Bank and Norwich Union Insurance, the UK general insurance arm of Aviva , will underwrite and distribute general insurance products to HSBC's 10.2 million customers in the UK.

Dyfrig John, chief executive officer of HSBC Bank, said: "It would be fair to say that HSBC has historically punched below its weight in insurance but we have shown before that our customers want to stay with us if we offer well serviced, good value products. The relationship with Norwich Union will offer customers a broad product range, great service and another compelling reason to make HSBC their preferred supplier for the full range of financial services."

Simon Machell, chief executive of Norwich Union Insurance, added: "This joint venture presents an excellent opportunity for us to combine our general insurance expertise with HSBC's strong brand, to help them maximise the value of their general insurance portfolio. Customers are increasingly turning to trusted brands for their insurance needs and by leveraging the HSBC brand we will create a significant new force in the UK insurance market."

As well as creating a joint venture, HSBC intends to sell Hamilton Insurance Company Ltd and Hamilton Life Assurance Company Ltd to companies within the Aviva group. The Hamilton companies are currently owned by HFC Bank Limited, a subsidiary of US-based HSBC Finance Corporation.

Clive Bannister, HSBC's group managing director, Insurance, said: "HSBC has set a target to double the contribution to global profits made by our insurance operations. Creating preferred strategic partnerships with leading general insurers is a key element of that plan. In the UK, an estimated £1 in every £5 of financial services expenditure is spent on insurance. That is why we have chosen Norwich Union Insurance, the leading UK insurer with whom we already have a strong working relationship, to help HSBC satisfy its customers' insurance needs."