Direct Line, the insurer that owns Churchill and Green Flag, yesterday said it will cut a further 2,000 jobs in the UK on top of the 1,236 it axed last year.
The insurer, which had to be spun out of the taxpayer-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland last year on European regulator orders, said it needed to make the reductions to "regain competitive edge".
The job losses will come largely at its head office in Bromley, and across support functions including human resources, risk, communications and finance. Just over 500 jobs will go at Bromley and another 80 in Croydon.
Direct Line said the cuts would help to ensure its cost base comes down to £1bn by the end of 2014 – £130m less than the 2011 figure.
Unite, which has several hundred members at Direct Line but no union recognition, described the cuts as a "savage blow".
The company's chief executive, Paul Geddes, said: "This is another important step in the ongoing transformation of Direct Line and an important part of our aim to regain competitive edge."