Aviva is cutting up to 1,800 back office and contact centre jobs at its UK insurance division, and reducing the complexity of IT processes, in the latest step under its £350 million cost cutting plan.
Some 1,500 to 1,800 jobs will go at Norwich Union Insurance in the next two years. The main areas affected are customer service, sales, claims and back office staff. The company said its main IT function would not affected, even though the back office and process jobs that are being cut depend on specific IT systems..
Aviva is closing 13 operations centres in Dundee, Glasgow City Centre, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, Cheadle, Birmingham, Bristol, Southampton, Basildon, Ipswich, Exeter and Worthing, to operate instead from centres in seven areas: Norwich, Perth, Bishopbriggs, Stretford, Manchester, Leicester and Southend.
Under the One Aviva efficiency plan, announced by chief executive Andrew Moss, the company is attempting to cut £350 million of group costs by then end of next year, including £33 million of IT costs in the UK this year.
“This next phase will continue the transformation announced last October and will involve the redesign of the operations function, simplification of processes, improvements in customer services and the consolidation of expertise into seven modern insurance centres of excellence managing customer services, sales, claims and back office administration,” Aviva said in a statement.
Last month, Aviva confirmed it was outsourcing up to 250 IT jobs.
Aviva, which has grown through a number of acquisitions in recent years, said Norwich Union Insurance “has become complex, with too many products, processes, systems and locations”. The company is looking for better economies of scale and to offer better customer service.
The group also said it wanted to better reflect the increase in insurance purchased online, and in web customer contact in general.
Igal Mayer, chief executive at Norwich Union Insurance, said that to deliver on efficiency targets the company needed to “fundamentally simplify our business”.
The transformation "will provide our employees with the products, processes and technology” to deliver better service, he said.
Union Unite reacted angrily to the “devastating” development. Graham Goddard, deputy general secretary, said: “The union now has serious questions about how Aviva will be able to deliver on their commitment to ‘One Aviva Twice the Value’ with one more round of brutal job cuts”.