Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) has announced further restructuring plans with the loss of 260 jobs in its information systems (IS) division.

But R&SA gave some hope to 60 of the staff, claiming it is trying to secure an outsourcing deal with a third party so jobs can be redeployed.

R&SA UK director for strategic change and IS Tony Brown told Insurance Times: "We hope to negotiate a deal so that we can outsource staff working in supervised systems to an external UK-based partner.

"It could take between six to eight months, but we hope they will take people."

He would not name the company or say how the deal would be structured.

"It is very early days," he added.

R&SA will now focus on its "key sites" - the Liverpool and Horsham offices - for its IS operations.

Overall the IS division employs 960 staff.

Job cuts will be spread across its Bristol, Halifax, London, Chelmsford, Manchester and Bournemouth offices.

Brown said the decision was part of "on-going changes in reshaping our back office" and that there was clear "duplication" in the IS teams.

It would affect key systems in both personal lines and commercial lines, he said.

R&SA chief executive Duncan Boyle said this move was "completely separate" from the Enterprise centre closures and admitted this was not the end of the restructuring.

R&SA also announced that Peter Hanby has joined as its new UK life director. He also joins the UK executive team. Stephan Pater is leaving the company after 30 years.

Boyle said: "Peter Hanby will lead life through its final stages to make sure it is run efficiently and we give good service to our existing clients."