Swinton Insurance to axe 900 UK jobs as 84 branches under review

(c) Sky News 2017: <a href="http://news.sky.com/story/swinton-insurance-to-axe-900-uk-jobs-as-84-branches-under-review-10851888">Swinton Insurance to axe 900 UK jobs as 84 branches under review</a>

UK insurance broker Swinton has announced it plans to axe 900 jobs by the end of this year as more people choose to renew their policies online.

The company is putting 84 of its 194 high street branches under review, as well as a call centre in Norwich.

Swinton currently employs around 3,000 people in the UK, meaning roughly a third of its workforce is likely to go.

The cuts follow a previous decision to close 130 branches across the UK by the middle of this year, bringing its total number of physical locations down from 325.

Swinton is one of the UK's largest high street insurance brokers but some of its branches have been suffering from poor customer usage as consumers turn to online options for their insurance needs.

Chief (Taiwan OTC: 3345.TWO - news) executive Gilles Normand said: "We are reshaping our distribution model to ensure that we continue to meet the changing needs of our customers in an effective and efficient way.

"This change is difficult for all colleagues, especially those who are directly impacted by the proposals, but is vital if we are to remain competitive in a challenging insurance market.

"While branches continue to be an important part of our multi-channel business model, we need to ensure that we can interact with customers whenever, and however, they choose."

The firm will now begin a formal consultation with all affected employees and, where possible, will redeploy staff to other areas of the business.

It also intends to boost its online offerings by investing £45m in enhanced IT and digital technology at its head office and contact centre in Manchester.

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