DBS Bank and Manulife Financial Asia have formally launched their 15-year regional distribution agreement covering Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Indonesia.

Effective 1 January 2016, Manulife will be the key provider of bancassurance solutions to DBS customers in these four markets, under the terms of the agreement.

The deal will further boost DBS' regional life insurance distribution capabilities, and considerably expands Manulife's existing successful relationship with DBS.

Earlier, Manulife was already DBS' main provider of insurance solutions in Hong Kong and Indonesia, and their second largest provider in Asia overall.

DBS Bank consumer banking and wealth management group head Tan Su Shan said: "This partnership represents the coming together of two leading organisations, combining DBS' superior Asian banking franchise with the insurance and wealth management expertise of Manulife, a global leader with a long-term commitment to Asia.

"With the establishment of the joint fund, we will be able to focus on the development of innovative solutions to serve Asia's fast-growing consumer base, and help them to fulfill their retirement and insurance needs."

Now, DBS' six million retail, wealth and SME customers will gain access to Manulife's suite of life and health insurance solutions, across the bank's extensive network of over 200 branches.