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More jobs for Aviv a centre.

Byline: Bill Gleeson

AVIVA'S call centre in Liverpool is to benefit from a decision by insurance group to close its Hill House Hammond broking business.

The group's Water Street operation, which trades as Norwich Union, is to gain 75 jobs directly as a result of the decision to close 220 Hill House branches around the country with the loss of 1,600 jobs.

There will be 1,200 compulsory redundancies at the high street brokerage. Around 2 1 jobs will go from eight branches around Merseyside, including Heswall, Liverpool city centre, Southport and St Helens Hill House's Bristol run operation sells mainly personal insurance such as car and home - on behalf of other insurers.

The move, which should be completed by the end of 2004, will result in the closure of all Hill House branches and offices, as well as the head office in Bristol. Business will be transferred to the Norwich Union Direct operation.

In total, this will result in the creation of 450 jobs in call centres at Norwich,Sheffield,Liverpool,Perth and Bishopbriggs,near Glasgow.

Norwich Union Insurance chief executive PatrickSnowball said the move reflected changes in the way people now buy insurance.

He added: ``Many customers now understand their motor or home insurance needs and will shop around themselves for the best deal.

``The number of customers who shop on the high street to arrange their insurance has also fallen significantly as many prefer to deal directly with insurers by phone or over the Internet.''

Figures show 17pc fewer people used brokers to buy motor and home insurance in 2002 than in 2000.

Mr Snowball added: ``Making decisions that affect our staff is always difficult, but we believe these changes are needed for us to remain competitive and adapt to changing market conditions.''

The company will now undertake a 90-day consultation programme with staff.
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 6, 2004
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