L&G to cut hundreds of jobs following Kingswood closure

Legal & General will slash a minimum of 250 jobs following its decision to close the flagship Kingswood office.

In June it was revealed the insurer was planning to leave its iconic Surrey headquarters.

A note sent to all staff from the HR department confirms the office will close sometime between now and 2017.

As a result all 1,700 roles at the location are under review, with the firm estimating a minimum of 250 job cuts.

Other roles could be moved to Cardiff, Hove, London or staff will work from home.

The note says: “We need to reduce costs. Location costs are our largest expense after technology and employees – Kingswood is our second most expensive location after Coleman Street.”

It adds: “Right now, because our divisions, group functions and customer services are spread across locations it makes it harder for us to work effectively to deliver great service and solutions.”

Half-year results, published earlier this month, show the firm will incur £40m in restructuring costs in a bid to deliver £80m of cost savings this year.

The provider says it is pursuing a cost cutting strategy through the closure of non-core businesses as well as job losses and a review of its UK and US locations.

Unite regional officer Ian Methven says: “With up to 1,700 Kingswood jobs in the firing line, it is inevitable that such drastic cuts will severely undermine customer service.

“Many of our experienced members have specialised pensions knowledge which is highly valued by customers, yet L&G seem prepared to throw that all away in a reckless rush to make short-term savings.

“Unite has started a collective consultation and we will support our members at every step. We are demanding that Legal & General minimise job losses through natural attrition, voluntary redundancy and by ensuring that all staff are offered genuine and realistic offers of relocation.”

An L&G spokesman says: “Legal & General has started consultation with Unite, that could potentially result with the Kingswood office (Surrey) being closed in 2017.

“The Kingswood office lease is up for renewal, and therefore it is sensible to see if the work cannot be done in our other offices, in a way that could benefit our customers.

“If that were to happen, then the vast majority of the roles in Kingswood will be transferred to our Hove and Cardiff offices.”