Written by: Keith Tully
Reviewed: Tuesday 16th June, 2015
Aviva is to shed hundreds of jobs in the UK as it aims to significantly cut costs after taking over its rival Friends Life in a £5.6 billion acquisition.
The insurer is to close a number of its British offices, including two in Greater Manchester, as it looks to find some £225 million in annual savings before the end of 2017.
Precisely how many jobs are to be lost at Aviva is yet to be determined but the company explained in January that its takeover of Friends Life could result in as many as 1,500 roles being phased out across the merged business.
“When we announced the acquisition of Friends Life we said that we would inform our people about any changes which impact them as soon as possible,” the company said in a statement released on June 15th.
“Today we have updated our people about proposals to focus our operations on a number of core locations in the UK.”
The post-merger refocussing will see Aviva offices in Salisbury, Stretford and Salford closed down entirely in the coming months, with employee numbers to be reduced in Manchester city centre, Dorking and Exeter.
“We appreciate this is disappointing and difficult news for some of our employees and we are helping our people through this process,” the company said in its official statements.
Aviva explained that it is aiming to operate on a more efficient basis than has previously been the case and with fewer costs linked to its properties around the UK. The company’s “core locations” going forward are set to be its bases in Bristol, Perth, Sheffield, York, and Norwich.
“The UK is an attractive insurance market and is critical to Aviva’s success. Today’s announcement is part of our long-term strategy to become more efficient and strengthen our position as the leader in our home market,” the company said.
All planned changes announced this week are expected to have been completed before the end of 2016.
Aviva’s acquisition of Friends Life, which was officially completed in April 2015, was the largest ever within the UK’s insurance industry.