Standard Life cuts 400 jobs in first half of 2007 despite increase in profits

Standard Life, the UK insurer, has cut 400 roles during the first half of the year, despite a 73% increase in profits to £461m in the six months to the end of June.

The jobs form part of a plan, announced in March, to axe 1,000 roles to save £180m by the end of the year, and an additional £100m a year by 2009.

The pensions specialist, which has a 10,000-strong workforce, has already cut 4,500 jobs since 2004.

The group has invested heavily in self-invested personal pensions (Sipp), which generate more profits than standard pensions.

It said in a statement: “In March, we announced our aim to reduce underlying costs by a further £100m by 2009, in addition to existing initiatives announced at the time of the IPO [initial public offering] to reduce UK life and pensions and corporate costs by the end of 2007.

“At 30 June 2007, group headcount was 10,472, a reduction of 269 from 31 December 2006, after creating 147 additional jobs from the investment in UK Sipp and Wrap [an online administrative system where the provider holds and sometimes manages a client’s investment].”

A spokesman for Standard Life told Personnel Today: “We aim to keep redundancies down to a minimum, and any reductions that have already taken place are as a result of normal staff turnover rather than compulsory redundancies.

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