Swinton puts 900 roles at risk of redundancy

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Broker says it is to review its branch network to meet changing customer demands.

Swinton Group has confirmed around 900 roles are at risk of redundancy as a result of a restructure, Insurance Age can reveal.

The broker said it is reviewing the size and structure of its branch network as 90 percent of its customers now buy insurance online or over the phone.

A total of 84 branches are under review, alongside a contact centre in Norwich and Swinton said the branches have been selected using a variety of factors including location and customer usage.      

It added that the review is likely to result in a reduction of around 900 roles by the end of the year. 

Consultation
Swinton has confirmed it will now begin a formal consultation with all employees impacted by the proposals, adding that where possible, affected staff will be deployed into other parts of the business.  

The broker further stated that it is investing £45m in enhanced IT and digital technology at its new head office and contact centre in Manchester.     

These branch changes are in addition to the 130 closures announced in February last year.

Distribution model
Gilles Normand, chief executive of Swinton, said: “We are reshaping our distribution model to ensure that we continue to meet the changing needs of our customers in an effective and efficient way. 

“This change is difficult for all colleagues, especially those who are directly impacted by the proposals, but is vital if we are to remain competitive in a challenging insurance market.”   

Normand continued: “Ever since Swinton started selling insurance door-to-door 60 years ago, this business has always evolved - first via branches, then contact centres and increasingly online. Our approach today, which is based on a high contact strategy, no longer meets our customers’ needs.

“While branches continue to be an important part of our multi-channel business model, we need to ensure that we can interact with customers whenever, and however, they choose. 

 “It therefore makes sense to continually review how we operate to ensure Swinton remains fit for the future.”

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