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Norwich Union axes 950 IT jobs

Insurer offers tea and sympathy, little else

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Norwich Union is to axe some 950 IT jobs to reduce costs and make the insurance firm more nimble in "changing market conditions".

Many of the jobs - predominantly software development and application support - are to be transferred to other companies and shunted overseas to India, Europe and the US.

Staff were told of the jobs cull this morning. Some 700 permanent jobs among IT, facilities management and business systems will be lost by the end of 2005, while the insurer will also be ditching 250 contract workers.

The location hardest hit by the job cuts is Norwich, which will lose 250 jobs. One hundred and fifty will go at offices in York and Bristol, while Stevenage will lose 100 and Croydon 50.

Although Norwich Union is to spend £1m to provide career advice and staff support, it expects all the job losses to be compulsory.

Gary Withers, Norwich Union Life's chief exec, said: "Decisions that affect staff in this way are never easy to make. However, recent market conditions in the UK long-term savings market have been tough and we have to ensure that the company continues its drive for efficiency.

"We will do everything we can to help and support staff during these challenging times and we will ensure they are kept fully informed throughout this process."

Once the jobs cull is completed, around 750 IT jobs will remain in-house at Norwich Union. ®

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