Royal & Sun Alliance jobs on the line

WORKERS at the Ipswich office of insurance giant Royal & Sun Alliance were today waiting anxiously for news about possible job losses.The company, which has a major office on the corner of Museum Street and Princes Street, announced that another 900 jobs in Britain would go.

WORKERS at the Ipswich office of insurance giant Royal & Sun Alliance were today waiting anxiously for news about possible job losses.

The company, which has a major office on the corner of Museum Street and Princes Street, announced that another 900 jobs in Britain would go.

Royal & Sun Alliance has already lost 1,200 jobs in its closed life business and announced plans to cut a further 500 jobs in its general insurance business across the country.

The 900 job losses announced today are in addition to these figures.


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A spokesman said today it was too early to say where the jobs axe would fall.

"This is a high-level announcement indicating how many fewer jobs there will be by the end of 2004, it is still far to early to give any specific details," he said.

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"Some offices may see an increase in staff, some a decrease but it is too early to know where these changes will happen."

The news came as the company announced its nine-month figures showing another disappointing period.

R&SA chairman Sir Patrick Gillam said: "We are today announcing the reshaping of the Royal & Sun Alliance Group.

"It will deliver a leaner, more focused business, able to deliver attractive returns to investors consistently across the insurance cycle.

"The group's results in recent years have been disappointing.

"We have not executed our strategy as effectively and as quickly as we should have done. And we have not produced the results a group like Royal & Sun Alliance should be producing.'

He added: "Our focus must and will be on profit, if this is at the expense of volume or market share then so be it.'

The group is shedding between 10,000 to 12,000 jobs worldwide.

The reductions would give the group 40,000 staff in total, of which 12,000 would be in the UK.

Union leaders reacted with anger to the announcement of job losses and said they would seek urgent meetings with the company as well as with workers.

Roger Lyons, joint general secretary of Amicus, said the cuts were a "knee jerk reaction" aimed at impressing the City.

"There are many other ways of saving money as we have proved in recent negotiations with the Prudential.

"We are yet to have detailed consultations with the company about these redundancies so we are seeking an urgent meeting.

"We will also be consulting with our members to see what course of action they want to take.'

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