Aviva cuts 950 Europe jobs as profits wane

AVIVA will cut nearly 1,000 jobs from its European operations and bring Ireland within its UK business to revive the group’s profitability.

Aviva said it would reduce its headcount in Ireland by about 770 – close to half its 1,770 staff – as well as 180 from its European regional operations over the next two years to give them “a leaner cost base” as competitiveness has fallen.

The home and motor insurer said it wanted to make its Irish arm “the most competitive ... in Ireland” after two years of underwriting losses and an expense ratio of 19 per cent, compared to 10.5 per cent in the UK.

Aviva blamed the “challenging macroeconomic environment” as well as having too high a cost base.

It has been consulting on the Irish business since March, while the European overhaul comes after the arrival of new European head Igal Mayer, a known cost-cutter at Aviva.