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UK insurance giant Aviva slashes 1,800 jobs

Tom Belger
Finance and policy reporter
An Aviva logo at the company head office in the City of London. Photo: REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo

Shares in Aviva (AV.L) have risen after the British insurer announced it would slash 1,800 jobs.

Shares were up more than 1.7% at 8.30am local time after the firm’s new chief executive announced a cost-cutting drive and an overhaul of its structure in the UK in a statement on Thursday.

The company hopes to save £300m over the next three years, and will hold a review of its UK life and general insurance businesses.

The firm has recently seen a shakeup at the top, with new chief executive Maurice Tulloch unveiled in March and its chief financial officer Tom Stoddard and UK business chief Andy Briggs also subsequently departing.

It is the only listed UK insurer with large life and general insurance arms, and some analysts have backed a sell-off of its general insurance business.

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Reuters reports that its leadership overhaul came over its struggling share price, concern at the effectiveness of its cross-selling of products.

It has also seen tougher competition from German insurer Allianz, now the UK’s second largest general insurer.

"Today is the first step in our plan to make Aviva simpler, more competitive and more commercial," Tulloch said in the statement. "Reducing Aviva's costs is essential."

Aviva employs 30,000 people and its international markets include Canada, France, Ireland and Asia. It has not been confirmed which locations or divisions are likely to be affected by cutbacks.

The statement also added that trading in 2019 had been in line with the previous year.

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