Article date: 14 September 2006
Following a review of its businesses, Norwich Union, theUK’s largest insurer, is to implement a number of majorchanges by the end of 2007.
The implementation of the changes will result in a reduction ofaround 4,000 roles across the UK by the end of 2007, approximatelyhalf of which are anticipated to be through compulsoryredundancies. Norwich Union will seek to minimise compulsoryredundancies through normal staff turnover, redeployment, notfilling vacancies and voluntary redundancy where appropriate.Following this announcement the company will begin the formalconsultation process with the staff representative bodies.
Of the reductions, around 1,000 operational roles will be offshoredto India in line with existing plans already announced, whilearound 500 IT roles will be outsourced to third partysuppliers.
The review was undertaken to ensure that the company fullycapitalises on the changes in the way customers are buyinginsurance, the greater use of and access to technology, and toensure it maximises the benefits from the closer integration of thelife and general insurance businesses.
Norwich Union executive chairman Patrick Snowball said theoperational changes were necessary to reshape and simplifyoperations to meet the challenges of the changing insurancemarketplace.
He said: “We have to ensure that Norwich Union remains ahighly efficient and successful company in what is an increasinglycompetitive and dynamic environment. Customers buying habits arechanging rapidly as technology becomes more accessible,demonstrated by the fact that 50% of our new direct motor insurancepolicies are now bought online. Consumers, IFAs and brokers areincreasingly operating in a self-service world and we have tocontinue to respond to this.
“We recognise that tough decisions such as these aredifficult for the people affected but they are absolutelynecessary. We will look for every opportunity to redeploy staff innew roles and we will ensure those affected get specialist careeradvice.”
The main locations affected by today’s announcement are:
Approximate role reductions
In addition to the above locations, 700 of the total rolereductions will be across approximately 40 other Norwich Unionoffices and 107 BSM high street outlets (see below). There willalso be a reduction of around 150 home worker roles.
The company expects around half of the total role reductions willbe through compulsory redundancies.
Operational changes at BSM
As a result of changes in the way people are booking drivinglessons, the 107 high street outlets of BSM will close by December2007. In future, BSM will operate a centralised sales and serviceoperation along with up to 70 instructor service centres and 50field-based managers providing support to its 3,400 drivinginstructors. Some of the work undertaken by the BSM centres willtransfer to a new contact centre and the net reduction in roles asa result of these changes will be around 200. In the future, BSM'sproducts will be sold via the internet and contact centre.
020 7269 7223
Out of office hours:
Notes to editors:
Norwich Union announced in September2004 that it would have up to 7,800 offshore roles primarily basedin India by the end of 2007. The 1,000 roles announced today areincluded in the figure of 7,800.
Norwich Union is the UK’s largest insurer. It is a leadingprovider of life, pensions and investment products and one of thelargest financial adviser (FA) providers. FAs provide over 70% ofthe company's long-term savings business in the UK.
Norwich Union is the UK’s largest general insurer with amarket share of around 14%, with a focus on insurance forindividuals and small businesses.
Norwich Union’s news releases and a selection of images areavailable from Aviva's internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media