Norwich Union announces closure of Liverpool customer centre

Article date: 25 July 2006

Norwich Union is to close its customer centre in Water Street,Liverpool, affecting 321 jobs.

The centre, which predominantly handles customer service callsfor Norwich Union Direct, will close by 31 October 2006. It isclosing because the continuing growth in online insurance sales,together with improved processes and increased efficiency, meansNorwich Union does not need as many people answering calls.

The work done in Water Street will move to other existingNorwich Union Insurance centres in the UK and India.

Norwich Union will make every effort to support staff affectedand will actively seek alternative roles for them – thecompany has another significant base in Liverpool and a customercentre in Sheffield where possible vacancies will be identified.However the closure could result in up to 321 redundancies.

Simon Machell, chief executive of Norwich Union Insurance, said:“It is always a difficult decision to close any part of ouroperation with the resulting impact on people and jobs, but we haveto remain competitive in a constantly-changing market.

“We will do everything we can to provide support and wherepossible redeployment for the people affected, and to keep thenumber of compulsory redundancies as small as possible.”

Of the 321 NUD staff in the Water Street centre, 180 work inmotor insurance customer service with a further 40 in homeinsurance customer service, and the rest in a range of support andadministrative roles.

The motor customer service work will move to existing UK andIndia centres. Home customer advice will go to Bishopbriggs inGlasgow, and customer satisfaction, cancellation and administrativeactivity will move to Sheffield.

In addition to the NUD staff, there are 45 people in WaterStreet who work for Norwich Union Life, together with a smallnumber of IT and HR staff, and a further 400 based in Moorfields,Liverpool – these jobs are not affected by today’sannouncement.

In September 2004 Norwich Union publicly announced its intentionto create 7000 jobs offshore by the end of 2007. This was increasedto 7800 following the acquisition of RAC in March 2005 by Aviva,Norwich Union’s parent company.

In a separate announcement, Norwich Union is today alsoannouncing changes to its technical support team which will resultin up to 17 compulsory redundancies in Sheffield.

Press office contacts
Louise Zucchi 01603 684506, 07800 699 664, Liz Kennett 01603688263, 07800 699667, David Ross 01603 682730, 07800 699 665.

Notes to editors

  • Norwich Union is the UK’s largest general insurer with amarket share of around 14%, with a focus on insurance forindividuals and small businesses.
  • It is a leading provider of life, pensions and investmentproducts and one of the largest Financial Adviser (FA)providers. FAs provide over 70% of the company's long-termsavings business in the UK.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases and a selection of imagesare available from Aviva's internet press centre at

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