Alliance & Leicester to axe 100 managers

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Alliance & Leicester is making up to 100 of its branch and office managers redundant in a re-organisation of duties within the building society, writes Nic Cicutti.

Office managers, who run the society's 360 branches, will be replaced by branch managers. Meanwhile, responsibility for part of Alliance & Leicester's mortgage business will be passed to new teams operating in regional centres throughout the country.

The re-organisation, due to take effect in July, means that about one in five of 500 senior branch staff will lose their jobs. The news was broken to them at a series of regional meetings yesterday afternoon.

The new structure removes one of the duties traditionally carried out by old-style branch managers, that of winning mortgage business through the intermediary market, such as estate agents and financial advisers. They will be expected to run their branches instead.

Kevin Southwood, managing director of personal financial services, said: "The new structure recognises the increasing focus of branches on selling a wide range of financial services, whilst having a dedicated sales force who secure mortgage business through the intermediary market."

He stressed that many of the redundancies were expected to be on a voluntary basis.

Adrian Nurse, chairman of the Alliance & Leicester's staff association, said: "Obviously, we are very disappointed. At least this time, unlike other occasions, it is management staff rather than those below them who are being made redundant."