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Aviva to close three offices as merger cuts bite

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Aviva will close three offices following the integration of Friends Life, amid plans to save £225m in costs by the end of 2017.

The insurer, who bought the Friends Life business last year, will shut two Friends Life offices and one of its own over the next 18 months. The closures will be in Salisbury, Stretford and Salford.

Aviva also plans to reduce its presence in Exeter, Dorking and Manchester as it cuts staff by up to 1,500 people, as it announced earlier this year.

An Aviva spokesperson says: “We have previously said that we expect to deliver approximately £225m of annual savings by the end of 2017 as a result of the Friends Life acquisition. Savings are expected to come from a number of areas, including simplifying the business and reducing property costs.”

The company’s headquarters will remain in London and its core locations will be in Bristol, Norwich, Perth, Sheffield and York.

“The changes will happen between now and the end of 2016 and we will look to minimise the impact by offering redeployment opportunities where possible,” added a spokesperson.

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  1. John Hutton-Attenborough 16th June 2015 at 9:28 am

    And of course service standards will significantly improve because of this…………..!

  2. So putting people out of work is now referred to as “simplifying the business”?

  3. Please forgive me for seeing some similarities between the post RDR adviser number fallout, the pre RDR divisions of the anti and pro RDR lobbies, the so called silence of networks, AIFA (APFA) and the Highland Clearances.

    For those who do not have a knowledge of the clearances, they were forced displacements of the population of the Scottish Highlands during the 18th and 19th centuries that led to mass emigration to the Scottish Lowlands, coast and the North American colonies.

    The clearances were part of a process of agricultural change throughout the UK but were particularly notorious due to the late timing, the lack of legal protection for year-by-year tenants under Scottish law, and the abruptness of the change from the traditional clan system and the brutality of many evictions.

    The reality of the highland clearances can still be seen today in the remains of burned out blackened houses, frequently comprising of whole villages and settlements standing as a testament to the greed of the few in hurting the many.

    It is worth remembering, too, that while the rest of Scotland was permitting the expulsion of it’s Highland people, it’s ruling classes were forming the romantic attachment to kilt and tartan that scarcely compensates for the disappearance of a Highland race to whom such things were once a commonplace reality. The chiefs remain, in Edinburgh and London, but the people are gone.

    So we know that advisers operating on the first day of the RDR had reduced by 20 per cent compared to December 2011 figures.

    These were the first comprehensive figures on post-RDR adviser numbers confirmed by data submitted to the then FSA by adviser firms showing that “the total number of retail investment advisers fell 23 per cent from the 40,566 estimated by the FSA at the end of 2011 to 31,132 at the end of 2012, the first day of the RDR”.

    With all this in mind, it was with some interest that I re-read an article from 23 November 2010 reporting that (according to the now ‘Sir’ Hector Sants) that “losing up to 20 per cent of IFAs was an acceptable cost in order to deliver the specific improvements brought in by the RDR, according to the FSA”.

    In giving his evidence to the Treasury select committee, the yet to be knighted Hector Sants said, “If the reduction in advisers was not acceptable the reforms would not be going ahead”.

    To top this it was reported that Lord Turner reckoned that a “reduction could be good news for consumers who may see a reduction in administrative costs”.

    He said: “Some exit of “capacity” from the industry which is therefore an exit of administrative cost may be in the interest of consumers, it a cost which is being absorbed.”

    What he actually meant was job losses, certainly not FSA or FCA job losses. And along with the loss of livelihood for advisers, many provider support staff were also casualties.

    We are still seeing the results of ‘SME and Corporate survival’ manifesting itself in consumer disenfranchisement- the unintended but sadly expected and well forecast outcome of RDR.

  4. Lord Turner obviously has no concept of supply and demand; a reduction in product (advisers) leads to an increase in cost as those left are in demand and can charge more.

    Joking aside it is sad to see people, usually those who aren’t earning a fortune, lose their jobs in the drive for lower costs demanded by politicians to win votes; which usually results in lower levels of customer service.

    I wonder if we will see much bleating in the national papers about the silent job losses over the years in our industry post RDR; I doubt it as everyone thinks those who work in the industry are earning fortunes when the truth is much different.

  5. A sad day for Salisbury – 15 years ago it was a flourishing financial services centre – now there’s not a lot left apart from James Hay and Rowanmoor. Friends interest in Salisbury goes back to the rescue of UK Provident in 1986 -UKP had relocated to Salisbury in the 70s. Incredible how the financial institutions that were powerhouses of the life industry 40 years ago have all but disappeared. Interesting to ponder on who is really responsible.

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