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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 108

Date:- 19 July 2003

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Swiss life faces inevitable job losses
By Patrick Trollope and Dominic Bonner

THE Swiss Life Group, one of the world's leading providers of life insurance in Liverpool and has been key to employment prospects in the city for many years has announced inevitable redundancies due to a slump in the insurance market.

The group's decision has taken many painstaking steps in order to attract an interested buyer for the branch over the past few months. So far, the failure to meet the insurance giant's expectations from interested parties has left the beleaguered UK branch in dismay at events. 

The decision to make a dynamic downsizing of the company in order for Swiss Life to maintain its shareholder value in which the company has desperately attempted to save the Liverpool branch before the fatal blow struck - has ultimately left the Liverpool branch bearing the full brunt of the outcome with 200 immediate job losses. 

A Swiss life employee remarked, "It was just life in a global business', as the decision by the company to cut ties with the Liverpool branch on July 17, after its move to focus on the intense capital market of protection policies. The company hinted Swiss Life took a dim view of prospects for the branch in a market, maintaining heavy slump."

A spokesperson for Swiss Life (UK) said, "Group business is still under evaluation. Swiss Life (UK) will continue writing new group business. The Swiss Life Group is committed to having a network partner in the UK servicing major international clients." 

"The Swiss Life Group is aware that these announcements are likely to have a significant impact for staff at Swiss Life (UK) and can confirm that the company will comply fully with its legal obligations to inform and consult staff in connection with the development and implementation of its plans for them."

However, the company was keen to assure clients that current policy 'will not be affected' and that a network partner would now represent international clients.

Speaking on redundancy, Swiss Life spokesperson Liz Romnes said, "Up to 200 job losses are forecasted over the next 2 and a half years, but the majority of the job losses will be in Liverpool as the majority of staff live in the area."

"There will be no voluntary redundancies, we are going through a consultation process to determine how best to do this, as to what specific roles are to be made redundant. We will make efforts to reposition our staff in the company or elsewhere."
She continued, "We are looking at employee benefits and waiting for an announcement on what might happen on that side and we will know by mid August."

If the sale of the company is not reached it is envisaged that possibly the branch may yet fold leading to further job losses in the future.

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