Another 236 jobs to be axed at insurance giant Direct Line

 

Another 236 jobs are being axed at insurance giant Direct Line Group as the Churchill owner slashes costs to save £100 million.

Direct Line Group said the roles would be cut across divisions including its commercial underwriting operation and risk and compliance function.

The jobs cull comes on top of a raft of redundancies already announced by the group this year, with nearly 900 call centre roles cut and around 70 senior management jobs lost.

But Direct Line said it was also hoping to create a number of new roles under a reorganisation and would help employ affected staff elsewhere in the business, as well as with other employers.

Paul Geddes, chief executive of Direct Line Group, said the job cuts were "essential to ensure we are as efficient and competitive as possible".

"As always, I have not made these proposed changes lightly and understand the impact they will have on our people, and we will do all we can to support those affected," he added.

Today's job cuts will include more losses among call centre staff.

The major locations being affected include London, Bromley in Kent, Birmingham, Leeds and Maidstone.

Direct Line, which employs close to 15,000 staff, said that with new jobs also being created, the net impact would be around 90 roles being cut.

But it warned there may be further redundancies to come as the group is still "finalising plans" for the last £30 million of cuts under its £100 million savings programme.

Direct Line Group, which also owns the Green Flag roadside recovery business, was recently floated on the London Stock Exchange.

Previously wholly-owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, the initial public offering raised more than £780 million for the taxpayer-backed bank.

RBS must sell a majority stake in Direct Line Group by the end of next year and divest itself of the entire company by the end of 2014 as part of the conditions of its £45 billion bailout at the height of the financial crisis.

PA

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