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Friends Life chief rules out further job cuts in 2013

Friends Life 480

Friends Life group chief executive Andy Briggs says the provider will not announce any more redundancies in 2013 as part of its £160m cost-cutting drive.

Resolution, the life sector consolidation vehicle which merged Friends Provident, Axa’s UK life insurance arm and Bupa to create Friends Life, is targeting total cost savings of £160m by the end of 2015.

It achieved £86m of this by the end of 2012, with a further £40m of savings expected to be found in 2013.

Speaking to Money Marketing, Briggs says £20m of this will come from its decision to outsource the administration of the Friends Life heritage business to Diligenta.

The remaining £20m is expected to come from cost-saving initiatives already announced. In December, Friends Life confirmed 150 staff will be made redundant.

Briggs says: “Half of the £40m savings for 2013 are built in as a result of the outsourcing contract we have agreed with Diligenta. So if I sit on my hands and watch the clock, that £20m of savings will happen.

“The other £20m will come from further moves to improve the efficiency of the business, in particularly finishing the migrations to the target platforms in corporate pensions, protection and retirement income.

“All of the initiatives required to deliver the cost savings have been announced and we have no plans for anything further beyond that.

“But we are living and working in a low growth, low interest rate environment and, like any business, we will consider potential cost efficiencies on an ongoing basis.”

Syndaxi Chartered Financial Planners managing director Robert Reid says: “Whenever a life company outsources administration and cuts jobs my major concern is the service will inevitably suffer as a result.”


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