The U.K’s largest insurer, Aviva plc, announced that intends to close down its insurance brokerage operation, Hill House Hammond.
The closure will eliminate around 1,600 jobs, as Aviva shutters the broker’s 240 branches over the course of 2004. Some 400 employees will be found other positions, but the remainder will be made redundant.
According to news reports, Aviva made the decision in the face of increasing competition from Internet-based companies, which continue to lure customers away from traditional insurance service providers.
“We are operating in an extremely competitive environment and have seen significant changes in the way customers buy their insurance,” Patrick Snowball, chief executive of Aviva’s Norwich Union Insurance division, told Reuters. “Many customers now understand their motor or home insurance needs and will shop around themselves for the best deal.”
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