Axa to Cut 450 Jobs in U.K. as It Stops Giving Financial Advice

Axa SA (CS), Europe’s second-largest insurer, plans to cut 450 jobs in the U.K. as it stops providing financial advice following a change in regulation.

Axa will stop advising customers in branches of Co- Operative Bank Plc and National Australia Bank Ltd.’s Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, it said in a statement on its website yesterday.

The U.K. regulator imposed new rules governing investment advice this year to eliminate conflicts of interest between advisers and customers. The Retail Distribution Review bans advisers from receiving commission from product providers, forcing them to charge up-front fees from customers.

“AXA U.K. must also now withdraw this service, having not found a model which balanced the regulatory requirement that the service be profitable in its own right, while setting advice fees at an affordable level,” Paul Evans, Axa U.K.’s chief executive officer, said in the statement.

The job losses will begin after a period of consultation with employees, the banks and unions, Axa said. The withdrawal of financial advice will not affect servicing existing customers, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kevin Crowley in London at kcrowley1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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