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Sorted and the City: THAT'S A BIT RICH, RICHARD.

Byline: Andrew Penman and Michael Greenwood

LAST year insurer Aviva made a profit of around pounds 60 a second... Odd then that it now needs to dump thousands of British jobs to "save money".

Slashing UK posts has become a speciality for Richard Harvey, inset - and investors love it. As chief exec he has announced plans to dump 2,350 UK employees and save a fortune by giving their positions, mainly call centre jobs, to people in India.

Anyone who has had to make a claim via Aviva's Norwich Union brand will know how infuriating it is talking to someone in Hyderabad who doesn't have the foggiest what you're talking about.

Harvey has also axed 1,200 staff at Aviva's Hill House Hammond broking arm while Norwich Union's 600,000 endowment policyholders face average mortgage shortfalls of almost pounds 6,000.

How does all this affect theatre, skiing and squash fan Harvey? Er, he picks up a pay deal worth pounds 1.42million

As he revealed the cost saving plans were working and Aviva had turned in operating profits of pounds 1.91billion shares shot up 3.4 per cent to 561.0

Meanwhile the Skipton Building Society has pledged not to drop British call centre staff for overseas workers.

Chief executive, John Goodfellow, said "Cheap cost can mean cheap service and that is not our objective when dealing with our members." Good for you, John.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 26, 2004
Words:236
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