Royal & Sun Alliance to axe 700 jobs to save £70m in costs

Royal & Sun Alliance (R&SA) is to axe 700 jobs, including up to 500 posts in the UK, in a further cost-cutting measure.

The insurer said it is looking for additional annual cost savings of about £70m, adding that the financial impact of floods in June and July would set the company back by as much as £120m.

The jobs are expected to go before mid 2008 and follow an announcement made last year to save £130m through cuts including 1,550 jobs, including about 1,000 positions in the UK.

In 2004, R&SA announced it was sending over 1,100 jobs to India to cut costs of £10m a year and offer the company ‘greater operational flexibility’.

A spokesperson for R&SA told Personnel Today: “Its too early to say at this stage what jobs will be lost and from which departments. There will, however, be no office closures, of which there are 20 around the country.

“We have a good relationship with our union, Unite, and will now sit down and discuss with them where we can minimise redundancies,” he added.

Andy Haste, group chief executive officer at R&SA, said: “In challenging market conditions, we’ve had a good first half – we’re driving profitable growth in each of our regions and we’ve achieved a strong bottom-line result.

“The results have been delivered against the backdrop of the UK floods in June, as well as adverse weather and increased large losses across the group, and clearly demonstrate the benefit of management actions and the strong and diversified portfolio,” he added.

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