Direct Line cuts 236 more jobs as it targets £100m in savings

Paul Geddes: Decision on job cuts 'not taken lightly'
Paul Geddes: Decision on job cuts 'not taken lightly'
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DIRECT Line has announced another 236 jobs cuts as the newly-floated insurance giant moves towards slicing costs by £100 million by the end of 2014.

The fresh round of streamlining comes on top of previously-announced plans to shed 970 jobs across the group’s UK operations, which employed about 15,000 prior to the cost-saving drive. However, spokeswoman Jennifer Thomas said this latest phase would have a “very minimal impact” in Glasgow, where Direct Line has nearly 1,000 people working mainly in call centre activities.

“It is difficult at this stage to give an exact number of jobs or posts, because there is a great deal of streamlining and re-organisation going on,” she said.

An unspecified number of jobs in Glasgow will go as a result of plans announced in September, mainly at call centre operations, but the bulk of those affected work in Stockton-On-Tees which is scheduled for closure.

The latest cuts mainly involve the company’s underwriting business, which is being centralised from eight into two sites in Bristol and Manchester. Direct Line is also overhauling risk and compliance operations and its chief customer office, mainly in England.

The group – whose brands include the eponymous Direct Line, plus Churchill, Privilege and Green Flag – said it was still finalising plans for the last £30m of cost savings. Some of this will be met via yesterday’s announcement, but other areas such as the group’s mail contract are also under review.

Paul Geddes, chief executive of Direct Line, said the latest proposals were “another important step” towards delivering cost savings.

“As always, I have not made these proposed changes lightly and understand the impact they will have on our people, and we will do all we can to support those affected,” he said.