Liverpool insurer RSA plans to axe 1,200 UK jobs in £70m cost savings plan

INSURANCE giant Royal & Sun Alliance today announced 1,200 job cuts sparking redundancy fears at its city centre HQ.

Bosses were unable to say Liverpool workers would be spared the axe but promised there were no plans to quit the city.

In a further blow to the North West mobile phone group Carphone Warehouse announced plans to cut 450 jobs which could affect the 1,220-strong Warrington workforce.

RSA’s jobs bombshell is aimed at making £70m-worth of savings by mid-2010.

The cuts come despite a year of “strong results” announced by group chief executive Andy Haste this morning.

He reported a 13% jump in pre-tax profits to £759m.

RSA said the job cuts will affect all its 8,700 UK staff “at every level”.

Some 1,200 staff are employed in Liverpool.

Spokesman John Sellors said: “The cuts will be right across the organisation and at all levels.

“I can’t say no-one will go from Liverpool. But I can’t say either it will be ‘X’ at Liverpool.”

He added: “Liverpool is our biggest site at the moment and will continue to be an important location for us.

“So there is no prospect of upping sticks and leaving.”

He said about 260 staff have already left the UK group and 300 will leave through natural wastage.

The company pledged to keep compulsory redundancies to a minimum.

Unite the Union's regional officer Martin McKeown said today: “Our immediate priority is to communicate with our representatives and members to ascertain their reaction to this announcement.

“Unite will oppose any compulsory redundancies arising from this exercise.”

RSA UK chief executive Adrian Brown said: “I see exciting opportunities to continue to build and grow RSA.our costs.

“Decisions like these that affect our people are always difficult. But it is the right thing for our customers and our business.

“Every support will be given to our colleagues to assist them finding new roles, either within the business or with other companies.”

RSA’s main offices are in Liverpool, London and Horsham in Sussex.