Norwich Union announces 900 job losses

Article date: 15 July 2003

Norwich Union has announced that 900 jobs are to go in its UKgeneral insurance and life and pensions businesses, including theclosure of its life and pensions administration office inCheadle.

The majority of jobs affected are at four locations - Norwich,Perth, Worthing and Cheadle - although there will be some minorchanges in other areas across the country. Where possible, staffwill be found alternative roles within Norwich Union. However, dueto the specialist nature of many roles, it will not be possible toredeploy all staff and it is expected that these changes willresult in approximately 600 compulsory redundancies across the lifeand general insurance businesses.

Norwich Union and parent company Aviva employ around 33,000staff in the UK and the majority of staff will be unaffected bythese changes. There is minimal impact on customer-facing staff.These announcements are not connected with the recent opening of anAviva call centre operation in India.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Patrick Snowball,group executive director, Aviva plc, said: “We operate in anextremely competitive market and have to continually look at waysto achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness.

“Making decisions that affect our staff is alwaysdifficult, but we believe these changes are necessary to adapt tochanging market conditions and make our business fit for thefuture.”

General Insurance
The changes follow a review across all areas of the business toachieve greater efficiency and effectiveness, as well as to furtherstrengthen the focus on delivering excellent customer service.These changes – which follow the recently-announcedreorganisation of the senior management team – are designedto re- align business operations to reflect the new structure.

The review looked at processes, ways of working and theorganisational structure of the general insurance business, tocentralise some activity and remove duplication. In the generalinsurance business there will be 630 job losses, around half ofwhich are expected to be compulsory.

The review of the general insurance business will be completedfor most staff by the end of August.

Life and pensions business
As a result of an operational review of administration in the lifeand pensions business, the Cheadle administration office willclose, resulting in the loss of 280 jobs, most of which will becompulsory redundancies. The business currently processed by thisoffice will be transferred to other Norwich Union operationalsites.

The Cheadle office will be closed by the end of March 2004.

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Media contact:
Liz Kennett/Louise Zucchi at Norwich Union press office on 08703 6668 63/08703 66 68 68.

Notes to editors:

  • Norwich Union and parent company Aviva employ around 33,000staff across the UK – approximately 14,500 work in the lifeand pensions business, 14,000 in the general insurance businessand the remainder in other business areas.
  • Norwich Union is the UK’s largest insurer with a generalinsurance market share of around 16 per cent, which is more than1.5 times the size of its nearest rival. It is a leading providerof life, pensions and investment products and one of the leadingIFA providers.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases and a selection of imagesare available on the Aviva internet press centre atwww.aviva.com/media

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