The Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) is to cut 900 jobs as part of an ongoing modernisation programme.

The redundancies will be made by the end of 2005.

CIS said its restructure would mean seven of its 18 regional general insurance claims offices would close.

Through service improvements, staffing levels in its back office area would be reduced by 35%, it added.

The offices will be replaced with a customer contact centre, which will be the first point of contact for clients.

The company said it aimed to create more UK jobs as it developed the contact centre.