AXA is considering whether to close its Leicester branch office and put up to 25 jobs at risk because of “significant changes” in the broker market.

The insurer said that issues including consolidation,

e-trading and an increase in networks had given it no choice but to discuss the future of its Leicester office.

Last year, AXA closed five branches which led to 200 job losses, but the insurer insisted this was not a continuation of those cuts.

Gary Stott, general manager of commercial lines intermediaries, said the branch is now at a stage where it serviced relatively few brokers.

He said: “Going forward the Leicester branch will not retain sufficient scale to justify its continued existence to remain as viable as it is today.

“Therefore, we are reviewing available options for operation in our Leicester office, but should there be no viable alternative the decision has been made to close this office with effect from1 January 2008.”

He confirmed that should the branch close, the existing broker base would be transferred to AXA’s other offices. It is believed that some staff could be offered jobs at the insurer’s Birmingham branch.

Stott said there were no immediate plans to close any more offices.