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L&G to cut hundreds of jobs following Kingswood closure

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Legal & General will slash a minimum of 250 jobs following its decision to close the flagship Kingswood office.

In June Money Marketing revealed the insurer was planning to leave its iconic Surrey headquarters.

A note sent to all staff from the HR department, seen by Money Marketing, confirms the office will close sometime between now and 2017.

As a result all 1,700 roles at the location are under review, with the firm estimating a minimum of 250 job cuts.

Other roles could be moved to Cardiff, Hove, London or staff will work from home.

The note says: “We need to reduce costs. Location costs are our largest expense after technology and employees – Kingswood is our second most expensive location after Coleman Street.”

It adds: “Right now, because our divisions, group functions and customer services are spread across locations it makes it harder for us to work effectively to deliver great service and solutions.”

Half years results, published earlier this month, show the firm will incur £40m in restructuring costs in a bid to deliver £80m of cost savings this year.

The provider says it is pursuing a cost cutting strategy through the closure of non-core businesses as well as job losses and a review of its UK and US locations.

Unite regional officer Ian Methven says: “With up to 1,700 Kingswood jobs in the firing line, it is inevitable that such drastic cuts will severely undermine customer service.

“Many of our experienced members have specialised pensions knowledge which is highly valued by customers, yet L&G seem prepared to throw that all away in a reckless rush to make short-term savings.

“Unite has started a collective consultation and we will support our members at every step. We are demanding that Legal & General minimise job losses through natural attrition, voluntary redundancy and by ensuring that all staff are offered genuine and realistic offers of relocation.”

An L&G spokesman says: “Legal & General has started consultation with Unite, that could potentially result with the Kingswood office (Surrey) being closed in 2017.

“The Kingswood office lease is up for renewal, and therefore it is sensible to see if the work cannot be done in our other offices, in a way that could benefit our customers.

“If that were to happen, then the vast majority of the roles in Kingswood will be transferred to our Hove and Cardiff offices.”

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Comments

There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. What, I wonder, are these 250 people doing right now that won’t be getting done after they have gone???

  2. I have every sympathy for people losing their jobs, but over the years L&G have been one of the worst companies with whom to do business so they need a good shake up.

  3. I used to work for L&G, for over 12 years, and still have a strong liking for them as they were an excellent company to work for. They had some excellent staff working in Kingwood who, if still there will be sadly missed I’m sure. However, I have echo the other comments in that whenever I come to deal with them nowadays on individual products, normally rate driven annuities or term business, their service is nothing short of abysmal. I hope that this re-structure and the cost savings help them to re-trench and get their processes more streamline than they currently are.

  4. Putting aside L&G’s ability to cut it and offer excellent service in the brave new world, that is financial service’s 2015……

    I do have concerns of the “seal cull” that has been happening in all financial services firms, banks, providers IFA’s etc etc etc, the only one employing and moving to better office space is the FCA, MAS, FOS, FSCS, etc etc etc.

    They (FCA et el) seem to cast a shadow wherever they stand, bloody baseball bat grasped in their right hand.

  5. Christopher Petrie 17th August 2015 at 5:42 pm

    I disagree with DH. Look at companies like Transact, Octopus, Just Retirement (recent annuity rules notwithstanding), Vanguard etc. The 21st century has seen many financial companies grow. Dinousour life offices were expensive, inefficient and outdated. Darwin’s theory of evolution continues.

    • I don’t disagree, Christopher there are some success story’s, you can add, True Potential to your list as well.

      I am a firm believer of Darwin’s theory, which is one of natural progression, a change with the seasons, not one like the end of the dinosaurs which was a major catastrophe, a quick and easy kill good or bad makes no difference they all die together, holding hands, (if you will) like the poor souls of Pompeii.

      Maybe by your standards I am one of the dinosaurs who survive’s ? the crocodile ? Tracey McDermott will not make a hand bag of yet !!

  6. L&G’s service standards have been abysmal for decades. It’s hard to see how cutting upwards of 250 jobs will achieve anything other than to make them even worse.

  7. As a victim of three previous redundancies I can sympathise, very often valuable experience is thrown on the scrapheap in the name of cost savings. Pre RDR it was all about sales in our industry, not even a sniff of a job for a double Chartered Fellow, post RDR it is all about quality of advice, service, and experience comes at a premium.

    This has a knock on effect for the life offices who were the major beneficiaries of the sales culture, particularly their share of bank product sales. Service was never their strong point so there will be evolution, however painful.

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