UK insurance professionals feel less secure in their jobs than their European counterparts, according to research by consultant Deloitte.

The report on change in the European financial services industry found that 40% of UK respondents felt anxious over job security, compared to a third in Germany.

The report, The Certainty of Change, cited the "rapidly changing business environment" as the driver for job insecurity.

A series of high-profile job cuts have fuelled insecurity among insurance industry staff, it said. Over the past month Norwich Union announced a cull of 900 staff, while Direct Line has also touted potential staff cutbacks from its takeover of Churchill Group.

Deloitte head of European research Chris Gentle said: "Our report found that 75% of European financial services workers have experienced change within their organisation in the past 12 months. The effect has been to make staff more nervous about the future.

"Yet on the other hand we are seeing staff relishing the positive influence of change on their organisations. Change is a double-edged sword."

Chief among the report's other findings was that UK professionals place greater stock in achieving a "good work/life balance" than their European equals, with 90% of UK respondents saying a good work/life balance was important, compared to 50% in Germany.

Gentle said: "The UK insurance industry has undergone much change, prompting staff to value the balance between work and leisure."