Life insurance and pensions firm Aegon is highly likely to cut IT and back office jobs across its UK offices, in an upcoming restructuring.
The Dutch company said all sectors of its workforce could be affected by the losses, and a spokesperson did not rule out technology staff. Sites in Edinburgh and Lancashire, as well as sales offices across the country, are likely to be affected.
Unofficial estimates of the job losses across all functions range from 600 to 1,000 cuts, as Aegon attempts to cut £80 million, or 25 percent, from costs. The spokesperson said it was “too early” to confirm a number as details are still being decided, with a staff consultation running until September.
Aegon had been considering selling its UK business, but the company decided instead to reduce the size of the operation – and will also sell off its reinsurance arm. The group received a €2 billion bailout from the Dutch government in 2008 at the height of the financial crisis.
Trade union Unite, which is expected to enter talks with Aegon over the coming days, said it was “extremely alarmed” at the job cuts.
Unite national officer Rob MacGregor said it was important to find “alternative ways to protect this business and ensure that staff do not pay such a heavy price”. Unite would oppose any attempts to make compulsory job losses, he said.
A number of other financial services firms have announced job losses in recent months. Two weeks ago, nationalised bank Northern Rock said it would cut 650 jobs, and would not confirm if IT staff were safe. The Royal Bank of Scotland also recently announced 500 job cuts in its wealth management division, including IT personnel.