Axa to cut branches as customers move online

Insurance giant will cut up to 40% of irish offices

Axa to cut branches as customers move online

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

More than 40% of AXA’s branches in Ireland will be shut down, as fewer customers prefer visiting physical offices to talk to staff.

Research conducted by AXA found that only 9% favour face-to-face-interaction in branches, while 54% of customers would rather call and 34% choose to go the online route. The insurer has decided to close 18 branches starting 2018, according to a report by Irish Examiner.

AXA said affected employees may either consider redeployment options or participate in a redundancy scheme. The insurer reportedly has more than 1,200 employees in Ireland.

According to the report, AXA had completed a strategic review of its different channels and took into consideration the customer preferences revealed in the study. Meanwhile, call-centre operations will also be centralised in Derry.

“AXA acknowledges that the review will impact on a number of branches which have low customer engagement,” said a spokesperson quoted by the report.

Earlier this year, Swinton said it was closing around 80 branches across the UK, as 90% of its customers now buy insurance over the phone or online.

Swinton chief executive Gilles Normand explained, “While branches continue to be an important part of our multi-channel business model, we need to ensure that we can interact with customers whenever, and however, they choose."

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