Aviva and Swiss Re slash almost 3,000 jobs

Losses and Lawsuits

LONDON & ZURICH - Insurer Aviva has said it will cut 1,690 of its UK workforce in 2009. The London-based company, which operates retail brands such as Norwich Union, employs 28,424 people in the UK and 54,758 globally. It will cut 1,100 staff in 2009 and eliminate about 590 temporary contracts. The firm says 300 of the regular staff cuts can be reached through attrition without rehiring, necessitating 800 compulsory redundancies. The firm says its offices in York and Norwich will be worst affected - losing almost 600 jobs in total.

Swiss Re, one of the world's oldest insurers, has announced the cutting of 10% of its workforce over the coming 12 months in a cost-cutting drive that will see the loss of 1,150 jobs.

The Swiss Re belt-tightening plan is a response to the firm's annual loss of Sfr864 million ($735 million) for 2008. The business is looking to cut costs by Sfr400 million by cutting back on a global workforce of 11,560 staff. It has already announced the closure of its Johannesburg branch. The firm was forced to take Sfr3 billion in a cash injection from US investment entrepreneur Warren Buffet following its losses due to writedowns of Sfr5.9 billion announced in February.

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