Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Standard Life set to cut 500 jobs

Standard Life sign
Image caption Standard Life said it was consulting staff about the cuts

The Edinburgh-based insurance and pensions giant Standard Life is to cut up to 500 jobs over the next 15 months.

The firm said it was phasing out 600 existing jobs and creating up to 100 new posts across the business.

It is expected Edinburgh will lose 480 jobs, with the remainder coming from other UK regional and overseas operations.

Standard Life said it was entering a 90-day consultation period with staff about the job cuts.

It follows an announcement by the firm in June of a major shake-up which saw several heads leave its marketing department.

'Natural attrition'

Of the roles being phased out, about 100 are currently held by contractors.

The company said it expected about 100 of the job losses to go through "natural attrition", and 24 are existing vacancies which will not be filled.

David Nish, Standard Life's chief executive, said: "As we transform Standard Life to deliver its growth ambitions, there is a need to both invest for future growth and actively manage our costs to be competitive.

"The decision is part of the journey towards being a more adaptable and flexible organisation.

"Our people will be provided with the support they need while the group goes through this necessary change."

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "This is a very disappointing announcement from Standard Life, and it will be an anxious time for staff and their families.

"Those affected can be assured that the Scottish government will do everything we possibly can to help, and we have already been in contact with the company.

"We recognise that the company plans to create 100 new IT posts in Edinburgh and we will want to ensure that Edinburgh and Scotland benefits from these opportunities in full."

Scottish secretary Michael Moore said the jobs losses were a "real cause for concern".

He said: "I am meeting the Chief Executive very shortly and plan to discuss the issue further with him.

"Financial services will continue to play a key role in Scotland's economy and I will continue to do all I can at UK government level to support and grow the number of jobs the sector brings to Scotland."

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy said: "This is a real blow to people in Edinburgh who have worked hard for a great Edinburgh institution.

"It will be a really worrying time for the families and friends of those who have lost their jobs.

"We urgently need to see more action to get Edinburgh's financial services industry back on a steady footing.

"It is hugely important for the local economy and to help Scotland through the worst economic times in living memory."

Tory finance spokesman Derek Brownlee said: "It demonstrates why we have to secure a sustained recovery and create new jobs. Both our governments must work together to achieve these aims."

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