Standard Life unveils fresh job cuts as 69 are axed

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INSURANCE giant Standard Life yesterday announced it will cut a further 69 jobs in IT, facilities and telephony in an effort to meet its promised £100 million cost savings pledge by the year’s end.

The latest cuts come after the firm announced it would axe 95 jobs in its customer services departments in Edinburgh and Glasgow earlier this month.

Overall 179 jobs in Edinburgh are affected by yesterday’s announcement, although the change will see 37 jobs created, which are expected to be filled internally. A further 17 jobs in the company’s network and telephony division are being transferred to BT.

Sandy Begbie, group people and operations director, who has been overseeing the efficiency programme, broke the news to affected staff yesterday afternoon.

A Standard Life spokeswoman said: “The proposed changes will ensure greater synergies, greater capacity to serve our customers and provide clarity of roles for our people.

“We will now enter a period of consultation with our staff association on the proposed changes which will last a minimum of 30 days.”

The job cuts are part of an ongoing effort to reduce costs. And while a decision to outsource the group’s IT functions has been averted, a spokeswoman for Standard Life said “we can’t rule out further efficiencies over the next year”.

The latest job losses are over and above the 500 announced by chief executive David Nish in September 2010. At its half-year results announcement earlier this month, Britain’s fifth-biggest insurer said it was “on track” to meet its cost-cutting target, estimating that it needed to save a further £30m by the start of 2012.

The Edinburgh-based company announced its cost-cutting drive in March last year, targeting £100m of savings, which would offset a programme of investment in new products and technology which looks set to cost the company £200m this year and £180m in 2012.

Shares in Standard Life rose 1.3 per cent to 196.9p.