'Too early' to know if Irish jobs to go as part of Aviva cuts

Aviva Ireland says it is too early to know whether or not it will be affected by the British insurance group's plans to cut 1,800 jobs in its global operations.

'Too early' to know if Irish jobs to go as part of Aviva cuts

Aviva Ireland says it is too early to know whether or not it will be affected by the British insurance group's plans to cut 1,800 jobs in its global operations.

Aviva's new group chief executive Maurice Tulloch is looking to make the insurer more competitive by restructuring its British operations and reducing costs across its business; resulting in 6% of its 30,000-strong global workforce being cut over the next three years.

The insurer is planning to cut costs by £300m (€340m) per year by 2022.

A spokesman for Aviva's Irish operations said it is not yet known whether or not Ireland will be affected by the cuts. Aviva Ireland employs 1,580 people.

"Aviva will look to ensure that redundancies are kept to a minimum wherever possible, for example through natural turnover. Aviva has not yet finalised where the reductions will take place and, therefore, it is too early to comment on the impact on Aviva Ireland," he said.

Mr Tulloch called the announcement "the first step to make Aviva simpler, more competitive and more commercial."

"Reducing Aviva's costs is essential to remain competitive and this means tough decisions and job losses which I do not take lightly. We will do all we can to minimise redundancies and support our people through this," he said.

The group said the redundancies will be made on a voluntary basis.

Aviva is also facing increased competition from German insurance giant Allianz, which last week did two deals potentially valued at over £800m (€900m) to cement its position as Britain’s second-biggest general insurer.

“We haven’t got everything right, in fact I don’t even think we are close to reaching our potential,” Mr Tulloch said.

The UK arm of trade union Unite reacted angrily to the global job cuts plan, saying it had arranged “urgent discussions” with management.

Aviva said it would focus on cutting central costs, as well as consultants and project expenditure. Its cost base last year was £4bn. Aviva said trading has been in line with 2018, with a stronger performance in Canada, and reiterated its commitment to a progressive dividend policy.

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