Standard Life to axe 1,000 jobs

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The Independent Online

Insurance giant Standard Life is to axe 1,000 jobs under plans to cut costs, the company announced today.

Insurance giant Standard Life is to axe 1,000 jobs under plans to cut costs, the company announced today.

The firm, the biggest life assurance company in Europe, said its life and pensions business is to be "repositioned" to achieve profitable growth.

This will require a "significant" reduction in costs of 20% and a loss of 1,000 jobs by the end of the year.

Chief Executive Sandy Crombie said a strategic review of the group's activitieshad shown that significant changes had to be made to the firm's UK life andpensions business to reduce costs.

"While this will mean job losses, the business must be in shape to compete successfully in the market for long-term financial services," he added.The review had shown that with profits products had declined markedly in popularity and now represented a smaller share of the group's new life and pensions business.

"This means a smaller proportion of our customer base is bearing a larger proportion of the business risk of the company," said Mr Crombie.

Access to further external capital was needed to fund growth, said Mr Crombie, adding: "While being a mutual has been a key part of Standard Life's success in the past, we now believe that raising further capital by way of demutualisation is likely to be in the best interests of the company and its policyholders."Standard Life will now "rapidly assess" the detailed requirements for demutualisation.

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