Pearl Assurance is closing its Cardiff call centre at the end of May, just eight months after it opened last October.

Most of the 130 workers are facing redundancy. At the same time, the life and general insurer is also shutting its call centre in Peterborough, with the loss of a further 140 jobs. A Pearl spokeswoman did not rule out compulsory redundancies, saying “that may be the end result”.

However, she added the company's first priority was to redeploy as many of the call centre staff to other posts within the group.

The company said its had decided to close its Cardiff and Peterborough call centres because its new style of appointment booking had failed to produce an expected increase in sales and were therefore not cost effective.

Pearl was overwhelmed with applications when it began recruiting for its Cardiff call centre last August. Pearl is part of the Australian financial services group AMP, which also owns NPI and London Life and has a 50% stake in Virgin Direct.