Strike action being threatened by 120 IT support staff at Direct Line would cause chaos for the insurer, according to finance union Unifi.

Unifi is conducting a ballot of its members in Direct Line's Croydon and Pudsey offices, who will be affected by the insurer's plans to transfer 150 IT jobs to Edinburgh and London. The union will ask whether they would consider taking strike action over the move.

Rob MacGregor, Unifi's chief negotiator at Direct Line's owner, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), said workers were furious at the company's plans, and he was "certain that Unifi members would vote for strike action".

MacGregor said: "A strike would cause significant disruption to Direct Line."

Direct Line said there had been no talk of compulsory redundancies, and staff affected by the plans would be offered retraining, relocation or voluntary redundancy.