Swinton announces 84 branch closures, 900 job cuts

Company reshapes business model as 90% of its customers now buy insurance online or over the phone

Swinton announces 84 branch closures, 900 job cuts

Insurance News

By Louie Bacani

Major high-street broker Swinton Insurance is planning to shut down 84 more branches and slash 900 roles as it continues to revamp the business to keep up with changing customer preferences in buying insurance.
Swinton has started reviewing its branches and intends to cut its workforce by the end of the year. The brokerage is also assessing its call centre in Norwich that employs 183 people. Consultation with all affected workers is expected to begin soon.
The branch closures will be across the UK but most are in northern England, according to a report by The Guardian. The affected offices have seven to eight employees each.

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“The review is likely to result in a reduction of around 900 roles by the end of the year,” Reuters quoted the company as saying.
“Where possible, affected staff will be deployed into other parts of the business.”
The shift in consumer behaviour prompted Swinton to restructure its operations. The broker said 90% of its customers now buy insurance over the phone or online instead of going to its branches, the Financial Times reported.
“Our approach today, which is based on a high contact strategy, no longer meets our customers’ needs,” Swinton chief executive Gilles Normand was quoted as saying in the report.
“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,” he added.
According to the report, Swinton is making a £45 million investment in technology at its new headquarters and call centre in Manchester.
“We are reshaping our distribution model to ensure that we continue to meet the changing needs of our customers in an effective and efficient way,” the BBC quoted Normand as saying.

“This change is difficult for all colleagues, especially those who are directly impacted by the proposals, but is vital if we are to remain competitive in a challenging insurance market.”

Related stories:
Major insurance firm moving to new UK headquarters
Major broker’s profits fall 26%
Broker to close branch as restructure continues

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