Internal restructuring
United Kingdom
Location of affected unit(s)
Financial Services
Financial And Insurance Activities
Insurance, Reinsurance And Pension Funding, Except Compulsory Social Security
65 - Insurance, reinsurance and pension funding, except compulsory social security

2,500 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
500 jobs
Number of planned job creations
Job creation
Announcement Date
14 July 2004
Employment effect (start)
Foreseen end date
31 December 2004


The insurance arm of the Co-op, the Cooperative Insurance Society, is to axe 2,500 jobs - more than a quarter of the total workforce - as part of a modernisation and cost-cutting exercise. Trade unions have, however, welcomed news that up to 500 new ‘customer-facing’ positions may be created to offset some of the cuts. The insurer, renowned for its ethical stance, was unable to rule out compulsory redundancies. Unions declared they would ‘vigorously oppose’ these as they expect the company's ethical outlook to be reflected in the way it treated its staff. Unions believe Manchester - where more than half of the 9,000 staff are based - will bear the brunt of the cuts. In November 2004, the company announced the closure of its 106 regional offices with the loss of 900 jobs as part of the wider restructuring programme. David McCall at the Transport & General Workers Union said the union would oppose compulsory redundancies and would play a robust role in consultation expected before the closures at the end of 2005. The CIS said up to 350 of the roles could be transferred to its central functions in Manchester.

In December 2004 the Co-op's insurance arm announced the loss of more than 170 jobs and closure of seven claims offices as a part of its modernisation programme. CIS said it would close offices in Belfast, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Cardiff, Sutton, Maidstone and Plymouth, affecting 175 staff out of 727 in 18 claims offices.


  • 10 December 2004: The Guardian
  • 15 July 2004: The Guardian
  • 17 November 2004: The Guardian


Eurofound (2004), Cooperative Insurance Society, Internal restructuring in United Kingdom, factsheet number 60449, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/60449.