Eighty jobs are to be lost at AXA's Lytham St Annes financial operations as the business is offshored to AXA Business Services in India.

AXA said the decision followed a detailed feasibility study of the Lytham business.

The reduction in staff forms part of the business strategy announced in January 2004, aimed at reducing costs and enhancing efficiency, it said.

Despite the move, the company said it remained committed to its base at Lytham.

The 80 jobs will be lost over the next year, starting in the autumn of 2004, said the company.

The transfer of jobs should be completed by the summer of 2005, AXA said.

The areas affected by the offshoring include elements of credit control, banking and reconciliations and instalment management.

A team of 80 full-time employees will remain at Lytham working on a range of financial processes, as well as managing and supporting the work being moved to India.

A further 290 employees at the Lytham site will continue to support AXA businesses in areas including HR, IT and internal audit.