Page last updated at 17:08 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 18:08 UK

Jobs go as Clerical Medical axed

Scottish Widows and Clerical Medical logos
The Scottish Widows brand has been chosen over Clerical Medical

Scottish Widows has been chosen to carry forward pensions and investment products for the Lloyds Banking Group, but more than 300 staff will be cut.

The sales teams of Scottish Widows and Clerical Medical are to be combined as Lloyds moves to simplify its business.

The Clerical Medical brand name is to be phased out, but the company insisted that headquarters in both Edinburgh and Bristol will be retained.

Products will be sold under the Scottish Widows name alone from 1 July.

Lloyds claimed that the combined sales team would be one of the largest intermediary sales teams in the UK.

But that change would see 305 jobs go from across the sales and support teams by the end of July.

Lloyds said that would consist of up to 190 jobs in the sales teams and a further 115 jobs in customer services.

Geographically, 50 of the jobs to go will be Scottish-based.

Staff were told of the position on Wednesday.

'Trusted brand'

Archie Kane, group executive director insurance, Lloyds Banking Group said: "This is the first important step in our aim to establish one simplified organisation.

"We are mindful of the rich heritage and strength of the Clerical Medical brand, however our research has shown that Scottish Widows is the most recognised and trusted brand in the market place.

"This announcement takes us a step closer to achieving our vision: to be recognised as the best life, pension and investment company by our customers, colleagues and shareholders.

"In doing so, we are bringing together the best of both of our heritage companies to provide a very strong platform for the future."

Scotland's Finance Secretary, John Swinney welcomed the decision to go forward under the Scottish Widows brand.

He said: "Today's announcement has aspects of encouragement for the Scottish financial services sector.

"It was based on clear market research which demonstrated public confidence and trust in the Scottish Widows brand identity.

"This indicates that the underlying strength of Scotland's reputation in financial services is much more powerful than recent setbacks."

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