Axa has clinched a five-year contract with finance union MSF to underwrite a benefits scheme for its 400,000 members, as exclusively revealed in Insurance Times last month.

The deal has sparked controversy because it was negotiated at the same time as AXA announced it would be axing 2,000 jobs.

Under the deal, the French insurer will provide a range of financial services, advice and insurance products. It will be partnered by UNISERVICE, a service company owned by finance sector trade union UNIFI, which will offer personal loans and home insurance as well as a range of lifestyle products.

AXA director of distribution, Adam Walton, said: "This is a fantastic partnership which will bring rewards to the Union and its members as well as to AXA."

The deal will be officially launched at the Trade Union Congress on September 14.