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Zurich cuts 550 jobs to save £65m

Zurich Financial Services is axing 550 jobs, including many senior management roles, to save 15 per cent on its UK operating costs.

There will be 170 redundancies in the Swindon and Cheltenham offices after redeployment opportunities and restricted future recruitment.

Zurich aims to achieve operating savings in the UK of £65m by 2002. The savings will come from eliminating duplicated activities across the group, which includes Allied Dunbar, Eagle Star Sterling and Zurich.

The move follows the restructuring of its UK life businesses into a single unit led by a single chief executive, Ray Greenshields, who was appointed in October 2000.

Zurich will be investing in technology initiatives for its tied distribution and appointing a customer relationship management specialist to focus on improving customer service and resales.

Greenshields says: “We have formed a single life business which has created opportunities to eliminate duplication and increase strategic focus. I see this as the vital first step in our plans to make our business fit to compete successfully in an increasingly competitive market.”

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