Business round up: last orders for 1,300

Brewing giant Scottish & Newcastle has announced it will
axe 1,300 jobs as it reorganises its UK business. The reorganisations in its UK
business, which comprises Scottish Courage and Scottish & Newcastle Retail,
are to boost competitiveness. Scottish & Newcastle Retail will sell 740 of
its managed pubs, restaurants and lodge hotels and lease out a further 180.
S&N will reorganise trade operations and systems development programmes to
improve efficiency. Chairman Brian Stewart blamed the job cuts on rising costs
within the industry. He added, “These latest initiatives represent a new round
of change and we are confident its completion will leave the company with an
even stronger competitive position than it has today.”

Bonuses backed up

Equitable Life’s newly appointed actuary has reportedly
defended the decision to pay £8m bonuses to its staff even though the company
is not taking new business. The ailing assurance company failed to find a buyer
last year and The Daily Telegraph reported that policyholders received no
bonuses on investments this year. Charles Thomson said the measures were there
to retain existing staff while the company endured hard times. Equitable is
reportedly planning to pay 2,000 staff bonuses of an average of 12 per cent of
basic salary.

Alliance costs 750 jobs

Barclays is to lose 750 jobs following the announcement it
is to close its life assurance division. The bank has promised to honour
existing insurance and pensions policies, but Legal & General will handle
new business. From April, Barclays will sell Legal & General policies
instead of its own in what it has called a “groundbreaking” alliance. Barclays
will shed the jobs over the next two years. PA

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