Prudential may axe 520 IT jobs

The financial services group is looking to save £80m, and is considering tech job cuts to achieve it

Financial services group Prudential may cut more than 500 UK-based IT jobs as part of a wider programme of offshoring and outsourcing.

PruTech, the business unit of Prudential that delivers its IT services, may axe up to 520 jobs as Prudential looks to cut costs of £80m in its life and pensions business — specifically in back-office administration.

Prudential said that no exact figure could be put on the number of jobs that could be lost in IT, as the company was undergoing a "scoping review". "We're looking to cut costs of £80m in the UK, but we can't put an exact figure on jobs," said a company spokesman. "We are looking at offshoring support functions."

PruTech currently administers 22 legacy IT systems, which will be streamlined down to five or six. Prudential is also in the process of rolling out a global workforce flow application developed as service-oriented architecture (SOA), which could lead to job cuts.

The work of 3,000 people in the UK and India — 2,000 in the UK and 1,000 in India — will be scrutinised to see where the cuts will be made. Prudential said it had identified the necessary criteria to make the cuts, and that it would test both competitors and its own business units by putting contracts out to tender. "We've identified an internal solution, and we're going to benchmark that solution against both internal and external providers," the spokesman said.

The 3,000 people whose jobs could be on the line work in IT, customer services, and customer operations. It will cost the Prudential £165m to implement the cost-cutting programme, which could include contracts with outsourcing companies and redundancy payouts to those laid off.