Staff enter consultation as majority of offices are integrated into consolidator’s regional bases

Towergate announced further redundancies this week, with the closure of 13 of the 16 offices occupied by its brokerage business BNIB, and the scrapping of the brand.

As revealed by on Wednesday, staff have entered a 30-day consultation period and a number of redundancies are expected.

The broker told staff it was integrating the business to cut down on duplication across the group and simplify its branding.

This follows last week’s news that up to 62 jobs are set to disappear from another part of the Towergate empire, the PPI broker Paymentshield.

The consolidator is moving the BNIB books of business and remaining staff into regional Towergate offices. BNIB was formerly called Broker Network Insurance Brokers, but is not the same entity as Broker Network Ltd, another division of Towergate.

It was originally acquired by Broker Network Ltd, which was in turn acquired by Towergate. BNIB had ceased to be part of the network division, however, and for the past six months had reported directly to Towergate.

Three of the existing offices, located where there are no neighbouring Towergate offices, will remain open, but the brand BNIB will cease to exist.

A Towergate spokesman said: “We can confirm that we have recently conducted a review of the BNIB business and its operating model, details of which we are sharing with our employees this week. As we’re sure you will appreciate, because we are now entering into a period of consultation with our people regarding any proposed changes, it is not possible for us to be any more specific until the consultation process has been completed.”

Earlier this year, Towergate chief executive Andy Homer told Insurance Times that up to 10% of jobs at the consolidator could be cut in the recession. Speaking in May, he said: “The business is changing its shape. We’re shutting down things that weren’t working or were deficient, and we are growing it in other parts. We employ 3,500 people and I expect that to come down by 5%-10% over the next two years. The trick is for all our businesses to determine how they’re doing and to cut their costs accordingly.”

In October, Towergate acquired Hull-based broker Rixon Matthews Appleyard. Under the deal, all 25 staff have moved to Towergate, which increases the consolidator's presence in Hull.