Insurance giant QBE has attempted to calm suggestions it is to cut 700 jobs in Australia, but insists it still plans to slash $US200 million ($190m) in annual operating costs.
News broke yesterday that QBE would shed the 700 Australian jobs, but the firm has responded, slightly coyly, saying that a continuing review of its operations would mostly involve "natural staff turnover and staff deployment".
"Any changes resulting from a review of our operations will be predominantly managed through a combination of natural staff turnover and staff redeployment," said a spokesman for the company, reported in The Australian.
"Chief executive John Neal has previously advised the market that QBE is looking to reduce annual operating costs by more than $US200m in coming years. This will be achieved through a wide range of initiatives as we work more closely across the 52 countries in which QBE employees are based. Our twin objectives are to further improve our business practices and to position the organisation for future profitable growth."