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Last Updated: Monday, 19 June 2006, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Jobs go at Royal & Sun Alliance
Royal & Sun Alliance office
The insurer said it needed to cut costs to grow the business
Insurance firm Royal & Sun Alliance has announced plans to cut 1,550 jobs by June 2008, including 1,000 in the UK.

The cuts in the UK will be split between the group's claims, retail and broker businesses.

The insurer, which has 10,000 staff in the UK including sites in Sussex, Liverpool and Manchester, said it hoped to limit compulsory redundancies.

The job cuts would help save 70m in the next two years in the UK and 130m across the group, it said.

"We have set out some pretty ambitious growth targets and key to that is going to be reducing our expenses to make us easier for people to do business with," said external communications manager Jon Sellors.

At the moment, Royal & Sun Alliance spends 19 pence of every pound it gets on administration, whereas many competitors spend less than 15p.

It was too early to say where the jobs would be going, and the firm would be talking with unions, Mr Sellors said.

About half the jobs are expected to go through staff turnover.

News of the job losses sent Royal & Sun Alliance shares higher, and they closed up nearly 3% at 126.5p, one of the FTSE 100 index's leading gainers.

A spokesman for Amicus said the union was disappointed at the number of jobs being cut and would work with the firm to try and reduce the number of compulsory redundancies.

In 2004, Royal & Sun Alliance axed around 1,100 UK jobs as it outsourced call centre work to India.

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