CO-OPERATIVE Financial Services have announced plans to shed 1,000 jobs by the end of this year in an effort to reduce its annual operational costs by £ 100 million by the end of June, 2008.
A review and consulation process aimed at identifying the posts which will become redundant is currently under way and although CFS hopes to achieve as many job losses as possible by voluntary means, it is acknowledged that this will be insufficient to meet the target set.
At the same time as announcing the job cuts, CFS has revealed plans to make a capital investment of £ 250 million over the next 18 months aimed at supporting planned growth in areas such as retail and corporate banking and general insurance.
The organisation says investment plans include enhanced relationship products, a new web offering for general insurance, new technology for CFS financial advisers and a doubling in the number of corporate banking centres.
In relation to the proposed job cuts which will impact particularly on staff based in the North West of England, it is being emphasised that personnel in customer-facing roles will not be affected, with support workers, middle managers and central servicing employees bearing the brunt of the cuts.
CFS believe the job losses are essential to maintain the competitive edge of the Co-operative Bank, CIS and smile in the current cut-throat financial services sector, particularly in the light of the trend of outsourcing services to foreign countries.
*Further coverage in the next Co-op News, available from Tuesday July 24th.