COUNTY NEWS: Hundreds of jobs under threat at Sussex insurance firm

Legal & General's Hove offices (Photograph: Google Maps)
Legal & General's Hove offices (Photograph: Google Maps)

Around 500 jobs are at risk at a Hove insurance firm, as Legal & General announced it has agreed to sell its mature savings business to a firm in Hertfordshire.

Legal & General told staff on Wednesday (December 6) that a section of the business would be sold to pensions firm Swiss Re Ltd for £650m.

The company, which is one of the biggest employers in Brighton and Hove, said 510 of its 1,500 staff at its City Park base worked in the mature savings department.

But after this week's announcement the firm moved to reassure its employees that it was ‘business as usual’ for the next 18 months.

On Thursday (December 7), a Legal & General spokesman, said: “Following yesterday’s announcement, it is important to stress that it will be business as usual in our mature savings business for 18 months – until the summer of 2019 – which gives us time to hold discussions with staff about other opportunities, including at Legal & General’s offices in Hove.”

The company said there may be a chance for at-risk staff to move into other parts of the business in Hove, or relocate to Hitchin, where Swiss Re has a base.

Nigel Wilson, chief executive officer of Legal & General Group, said: “This was a difficult decision as with-profits savings has been a part of Legal & General’s UK business for over 50 years.

“However we have in Swiss Re a great partner, who will be an excellent steward of the business and its many customers and policyholders.

“Selling mature savings is the right decision for us – another important, measured, step in growing our company and updating our products.

“It will drive further earnings growth by allowing us to focus on our successful market-leading businesses and to accelerate the scaling up of our growth businesses.”