Mutual of Omaha plans to establish a community bank in the Omaha market, expanding its financial kingdom outside the realm of insurance.
Jeffrey Schmid, president and chief executive of Mutual’s Omaha Financial Holdings Inc., said the bank would be a base for extending electronic banking services across the country.
It could potentially market such services to its insurance customer base. A company handout said that at the end of 2005, Mutual had more than 1.5 million people covered under nearly 1.3 million individual health and accident policies and more than 13,500 employer groups covered under nearly 19,000 policies.
More recent figures won’t be available until the annual report is released in March, said company spokesman Jim Nolan.
“We have the ability to build a company that complements Mutual over the next 10 or 20 years, that really has so much in common from a financial services standpoint,” said Schmid, former president of American National Bank in Omaha. “It can enable Mutual to diversify its future.”
The new subsidiary has no banking assets, but its formation prepares Mutual to acquire or form a bank, Nolan said.
About three dozen U.S. insurance companies have made similar moves in recent years.
At the end of 2005, Mutual had consolidated assets of more than $18.4 billion.
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