Norwich Union is to outsource 7,000 jobs to India by 2007 in a move that will see life and pension policyholders' queries put through to overseas centres.
NU says the move will cut admin costs by around 40 per cent and will allow it to respond to customer demand for direct contact with call-centre staff instead of unpopular voice-recognition systems.
The firm expects around 150 compulsory redundancies in 2005 as a result of the move, with 70 job losses in Norwich and 60 in York.
Around 760 new posts in India will service life and pension business, with a further 190 predominantly finance support roles to be based in Sri Lanka.
In a separate move, NU Life is to transfer its marketing and actuarial functions from Norwich to York as part of a cost efficiency drive. The company is looking at ways to avoid redundancies and says IFA business will not be affected by the change.
The corporate benefits services department – based in Norwich – will not move but is to be restructured with an anticipated 13 redundancies.
NU Life chief executive Gary Withers says: “We operate in very competitive markets where customers continually seek better value for money and quality of service. The experience of our existing offshore operations shows that the service levels in India continue to match those we achieve in our UK operations.”