Redundancies 'not a cost-cutting exercise', says Whittaker

QBE Europe is moving its QBE National underwriting office from Chelmsford to London in 2011, leading to several redundancies.

The operation was launched three years ago to provide a Lloyd’s-style underwriting authority for regional markets. It is to be rebranded QBE London National.

QBE head of European distribution Terry Whittaker said four motor underwriting staff in Chelmsford faced redundancy, and more job cuts were possible among QBE National's property and casualty staff.

Whittaker said: “It is a very small percentage we’re anticipating will be casualties of the process. It’s not a cost-cutting exercise.”

Whittaker said QBE decided to relocate the roles of some staff from the Chelmsford office after regional brokers said they wanted to place business in QBE’s more accessible London office.