Belfast Telegraph

Insurance giant Axa shuts four Northern Ireland offices with loss of 20 jobs

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By Charlie Weston

Motor insurer Axa is to close four of its 15 branches in Northern Ireland with the loss of 20 jobs, it can be revealed.

But the company is also expected to move some operations into the province as it also closes 14 branches in the Republic, cutting staff numbers by over 100.

Phone services operated from branches in the Republic are to moved to Londonderry.

Axa has 15 branches in Northern Ireland, from east Belfast to Coleraine and Magherafelt. However, it's not clear which branches will close.

It's understood staff will be informed about the cutbacks at meetings today.

The company will seek voluntary redundancies, but the job losses will be compulsory if it does not get the numbers it wants.

The cutbacks come after three years of heavy hikes in motor premiums, with insurers insisting they are losing money on motor cover.

Axa, whose parent company is French, is one of the largest and oldest insurers in the Irish market.

It employs 1,200 people in the Republic and has 42 branches across Ireland.

Branch networks have also been cut back by other insurers as more consumer business moves online.

Some of the remaining branches will be downsized.

In a statement, Axa said: "These changes are about providing the best possible service to our customers in the way that best suits them. We will continue to have the largest branch network in the industry and we will also strengthen our telephone and online channels to provide all customers with the best experience."

Belfast Telegraph

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