Manulife to buy creditor insurance provider Benesure Canada

Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:07am EDT
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TORONTO Oct 24 (Reuters) - Manulife Financial Corp said on Wednesday it will acquire Benesure Canada Inc, a private firm that administers and distributes life and disability creditor insurance to the mortgage broker marketplace.

The deal, which makes Manulife Canada's largest provider of creditor insurance for mortgage brokers, is the latest in a mini flurry of deals struck by Canadian financial institutions.

On Tuesday, Royal Bank of Canada said it will buy the Canadian auto finance and deposit arm of Ally Financial Inc in a $4.1 billion deal, just as competitor Toronto-Dominion Bank said it will buy U.S. retailer Target Corp's credit card portfolio.

Manulife's acquisition of Benesure Canada comes at a time when Canadian insurers have been struggling with low bond yields and lackluster returns from equity markets. In August, Manulife reported a loss and backed off on its much-vaunted 2015 profit target of C$4 billion ($4.4 billion).

The terms of the Benesure deal were not disclosed. Manulife said Benesure currently earns premiums of about C$65 million a year from more than 170,000 clients.