Insurer warns of job losses

INSURANCE group Royal & Sun Alliance is to axe more than 700 jobs, including around 500 in the UK, as part of a £70million cost-saving strategy. R&SA, the group behind the More Than insurance brand, said it was too early to say how many of its 20 offices around the UK would be affected, with job losses at its sites in Ipswich and Chelmsford not ruled out.

INSURANCE group Royal & Sun Alliance is to axe more than 700 jobs, including around 500 in the UK, as part of a £70million cost-saving strategy.

R&SA, the group behind the More Than insurance brand, said it was too early to say how many of its 20 offices around the UK would be affected, with job losses at its sites in Ipswich and Chelmsford not ruled out.

The savings drive, which should be completed by the middle of next year, will also involve efficiencies in areas including IT, procurement and property although the group said it was not planning to close any offices.

News of the job losses today came alongside the group's half-year results in which R&SA said it expected the financial impact of floods in June and July to be in the region of £120 million.


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Around £55 million of flood-related losses in June, in northern England, impacted on the group's results for the six months to the end of June and it said last month's flooding in the Midlands was expected to cost a further £65 million.

Group underwriting profits were down 16% to £144 million, with bottom-line profits broadly flat at £237 million in the six months to June 30.

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The group employs around 9,000 people in the UK, including major at sites in Horsham, London and Liverpool. Around 300 people are employed at the Chelmsford office, with a further 18 at the Ipswich site.

A group spokesman said today that it was too early say to what jobs and which locations would be affected by the job losses - which would be the subject of consultation with unions - but the group would attempt to minimise compulsory redundancies through natural wastage where possible.

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