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Allianz to shut down Milton Keynes and Bristol operations

Global insurer Allianz has decided to shut down its commercial operation in Milton Keynes and its business insurance centre in Bristol, resulting in a loss of 98 headcounts at both regions.

According to the insurer, the Milton Keynes branch will close by the end of October 2014, while the SME operational handling will be relocated to Maidstone. Additionally, handling of business for a small number of brokers will be moving to the nearby Luton branch.

The decision to close the operations comes after a review into the insurer’s SME business following deployment of its Quote SME eTrade platform.

As part of the review, Allianz will develop and expand its SME operations at two sites including Maidstone for broker-facing business and Lancaster for direct and affinity business.

The company believes that developing these two centers will allow Allianz Commercial to drive growth and provide operational efficiencies through simplification, scale and the optimization of processes in a new digital environment.

Due to some changes in Allianz’s bancassurance arrangements, the handling of this business will be transferred from Allianz’s Bristol-based business insurance centre (BIC) to the Allianz office in Lancaster. The BIC will close on 31 August 2014.

These decisions will affect 57 staff in Milton Keynes and 41 people at the BIC. Currently, Allianz employs over 750 staff in Bristol and approximately 400 peoplein Milton Keynes.

Allianz commercial general manager Simon McGinn said: "This set of changes has resulted from a specific review of our SME operations in the context of a rapidly-changing and increasingly digital environment.

"Decisions of this nature are never easy, but to ensure we are structured to achieve our ambitions we need to position our operations to deliver a growing and profitable set of business results over the medium and long term," McGinn added.