The Prudential has announced it is to axe 4,000 jobs over the next three years.
The jobs will mainly be lost from within Prudential Retail Financial Services arm.
It blames the losses on its restructuring programme, which it says is necessary because of the changing financial services environment brought about by new technology and changing legislation.
The restructuring programme should result in cost savings of nearly £200m annually from 2002. The restructuring is expected to cost £150m of which £55m will be charged to shareholder profits in 1999.
Prudential's group chief executive Peter Davis says: "We are in a growth market which we predict will become intensely competitive.
"We have to capitalise on Prudential's strength to produce and distribute good value products to a mass market while ensuring that we maintain high service levels within such a competitive environment."