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NU to slash 4,000 jobs by 2007

Norwich Union will announce 4,000 job losses across its UK operations by the end of 2007.

Around half of these will be in the form of compulsory redundancies, with about 1,000 support roles being offshored to India and 500 IT roles outsourced to third party suppliers.

Following a review of its businesses, NU says it is hoping to capitalise on the changes in the way customers are buying insurance, the greater use of and access to technology and to ensure it better integrates its life and GI businesses.

The number of jobs affected in main areas will be: Norwich – 850, York – 450, Glasgow – 250 and Sheffield – 250. Other areas affected will include Cambridge, Perth,
Newcastle, Eastleigh, Stevenage, Bristol, Worthing, Belfast and Birmingham.

NU executive chairman Patrick Snowball says the operational changes were necessary to reshape and simplify operations to meet the challenges of the changing insurance marketplace.

He says: “We have to ensure that Norwich Union remains a highly efficient and successful company in what is an increasingly competitive and dynamic environment. Customers buying habits are changing rapidly as technology becomes more accessible, demonstrated by the fact that 50% of our new direct motor insurance policies are now bought online. Consumers, IFAs and brokers are increasingly operating in a self-service world and we have to continue to respond to this.

“We recognise that tough decisions such as these are difficult for the people affected but they are absolutely necessary. We will look for every opportunity to redeploy staff in new roles and we will ensure those affected get specialist career advice.”

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