Alexander Forbes is piloting an initiative to free up its UK retail staff by centralising local back offices into regional hubs.

Roger Brown, managing director of Alexander Forbes Corporate Risk Solutions said: "We have been looking at ways to empower our brokers to spend more time developing profitable new client relationships and providing top quality service to our existing clients.

"To facilitate this, we have set up a central back office in Nottingham for our East Midland's branches.Both our Peterborough and Nottingham offices use the new back office for claims handling, policy records, administration and cash management.

"The pilot appears to be operating very effectively. Subject to the longer term success of this pilot we envisage setting up regional back offices to service our other regional offices over the course of the next year."

'Alexander Forbes group chief executive Rael Gordon said the company is investigating offshoring business to South Africa, where 50% of the company's business is based and where Alexander Forbes is listed.