General insurance jobs go after Patrick Snowball becomes group chief

Norwich Union (NU) has cut 900 jobs as a result of its latest management shake-up which saw Patrick Snowball promoted to head of Aviva's general insurance worldwide last month.

Over 600 jobs will be lost in general insurance and 280 life jobs will go at a call centre in Cheadle.

After redeployment, the company expects that 600 staff will have to be made redundant.

Some 300 jobs out of 8,000 will be lost in Norwich, while 60 will go in Perth and 40 in Worthing. The remainder will be lost across 31 different locations in the UK.

An NU spokesman said the jobs to go are centralised functions such as marketing, underwriting, claims and human resources. He added that regional offices would largely be unaffected in an attempt to maintain service standards.

NU and parent company Aviva employ around 33,000 staff in the UK. Most will be unaffected by these changes, said NU.

"There is minimal impact on customer-facing staff. These announcements are not connected with the recent opening of an Aviva call centre operation in India," the company added

Aviva group executive director Patrick Snowball said: "We operate in an extremely competitive market and have to continually look at ways to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness.

"Making decisions that affect our staff is always difficult, but we believe these changes are necessary to adapt to changing market conditions and make our business fit for the future."

In the general insurance business there will be 630 job losses, around half of which are expected to be compulsory.

The review of the general insurance business will be completed for most staff by the end of August.