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Prudential to axe its entire direct sales force

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At a cost of £110 million and the loss of 2,000 jobs, financial services giant Prudential is to close its direct sales force operations in a move to make savings of £135 million a year.

The company, which grew on the back of home service industrial branch insurance sales, plans to invest in getting new sales through telephone and internet operations.

The existing sales force of 1,400 people is expected to be cut to a dedicated national team of around 250 people for the domestic market with a further 100 people concentrating on corporate clients.

Jonathan Bloomer, Chief Executive of Prudential said, “The UK marketplace is experiencing dramatic change which presents enormous opportunities and long term potential for Prudential. I am confident that by transforming our business model we are well placed to take advantage of these opportunities going forward.”

There has been a substantial decline in the number of people employed within financial services direct sales operations since the late 1980s, and increased cost pressures is still impacting on that process.

After allowing for re-deployments, Prudential have indicated that some 2,000 jobs will be lost within the sales force and customer service and support operations over the next 12 month period.

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