The UK-based insurance group Royal & SunAlliance has announced it will cut 1,550 jobs in a bid to save GBP130 million a year by 2008.

The insurer revealed that over the next two years 1,000 jobs will be lost in Britain and 350 in Sweden, with the remainder going from other geographical regions.

Royal & SunAlliance says the job cuts, which in the UK will be spread across all of the insurers’ 24 offices, are a key part of the group’s plans to reduce overheads to less than 15% in Britain and Sweden and its operating expense ratio for its intermediated business in Canada to single digits.

We have a clear strategy of running general insurance businesses with strong market positions to deliver sustainable profitable performance. The decision to reduce headcount is always a difficult one but necessary to ensure we remain as competitive as possible and to continue to deliver on our objective of sustainable profitable performance, said Andy Haste, R&SA’s chief executive.

The new raft of cost cutting measures follow on from Mr Haste’s previous announced goal to achieve GBP270 million of annualized savings by the end of 2006, which have already been delivered.