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53 jobs go as Abbey offshore arms shut

Abbey National is closing two of its offshore life insurance subsidiaries with immediate effect at the cost of up to 53 jobs.

Scottish Mutual International and Scottish Provident Ireland, the company&#39s two Dublin-based life operations, closed their doors to new business this week.

At the end of last year, the two firms held over 125,000 policies and nearly £4bn of assets under management. They conducted business in the UK, Ireland, Europe, the Far East and the Middle East.

Abbey says it is still looking at exit options at its other offshore subsidiary, Isle of Man-based Scottish Provident International.

It says the decision is a result of the poor investment market conditions and will affect 53 business support roles. However, some staff will stay on to look after existing policyholders until the investment book runs off. SMI and SPIreland will continue to service their existing customers and investments will still be managed by Abbey National Asset Managers in Glasgow.

There are also plans to combine the two head-office operations to streamline business.

Director of international life businesses Peter Towers says: “We will be contacting all our brokers to explain how the decision will affect them and to assure them that we are committed to continuing to service our existing customers in the same highly professional manner.”

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