The financial services sector suffered a fresh blow today when insurance giant RSA announced plans to axe 1,200 jobs.
The firm said the cuts will be achieved by the middle of next year and were aimed at improving operational efficiency and reducing costs.
RSA announced a target of saving £70 million in the UK, mainly through the job cuts.
Unite's regional officer Martin McKeown said the union was "disappointed" with the cuts, adding: "We have been involved in consultation with the company and both parties remain committed to mitigating the consequences of this decision.
"Our immediate priority is to communicate with our representatives and members. We will oppose any compulsory redundancies."
RSA chief executive Adrian Brown said: "I see exciting opportunities to continue to build and grow RSA. But key to this will be reducing our costs. The healthier our expense base is, the more competitively-priced our products and services become.
"Decisions like these that affect our people are always difficult, but it is the right thing for our customers and our business.
"Every support will be given to our colleagues to assist them finding new roles, either within the business or with other companies."
RSA said the cuts would account for around 14 per cent of its 8,800-strong UK workforce.
The firm's main offices are in Liverpool, London and Horsham in Sussex but the job losses will be spread across the company and at all levels.
A spokesman said around 260 posts had already gone and a further 300 were earmarked through natural turnover.
RSA said it had given a commitment to the union that it would try to minimise redundancies wherever possible.