Norwich Union is closing its national insurance broker firm, Hill House Hammond (HHH) by the end of 2004 and with the loss of 1600 jobs.
Aviva, the parent group behind Norwich Union, says it will close over 240 high street HHH offices and its Bristol head office, as well as sell the commercial insurance operation and transfer all subsequent insurance business to Norwich Union Direct.
NU’s move is ahead of general insurance becoming an FSA-regulated business in January 2005 and in the wake of customer preference for internet and telephone-based sales, suggests NU Insurance’s chief executive Patrick Snowball.
Changes to the company structure will prompt around 1200 compulsory redundancies, however, at least 400 staff will be found alternative roles within NU’s existing UK businesses.
To cope with the additional 800,000 customers currently managed by HHH, Norwich Union Direct will create an extra 450 call centre jobs in Norwich, Sheffield, Liverpool, Perth, and Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow by the end of the year.IFAonline
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