May 23, 2013

The insurance world was left reeling this week after Insurance Age revealed that Giles Insurance Brokers has axed as many as three roles at its Dundee office. This reduces the firm’s presence in Scotland’s fourth largest city to a token one person – with so-called support services supposedly transferred to Edinburgh 60 miles and more than an hour’s drive away.

As heads rolled in the internationally renowned marmalade hub and sometime home of late-lamented legendary insurance journalist Keith Stewart, the firm claimed complacently that its clients in Dundee were “quite happy” about the savage cull and near closure.

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Sickeningly (see above), Giles’ regional managing director Ian McEwan was pictured actually smiling (and possibly wearing make up) alongside Insurance Age’s scoop coverage. Heartless would seem too mild an epithet under the circumstances! No doubt the firm will deny it, but this dramatic move must inevitably raise doubts as to whether Giles is truly serious about North East Scotland.

Beyond that, London-based politicians are sure to seize on the dramatic implosion of Giles’ Dundee presence as further evidence that all this foolish talk of Scots independence is prompting a general retreat of financial services businesses from a country whose future now seems threateningly uncertain.

Meanwhile, in other redundancy news, some firm called Equity (quite possibly, for all Bankstone News knows, the former communist outfit recently helmed by well known music label boss Neil Utterly) is apparently shedding 200 jobs in Essex and planning to stop playing the whole ridiculous money-pit direct motor insurance game to become a specialist broker-only motor insurer.

Staff in Equity’s Glasgow office – assuming they still have some – must be very worried indeed.

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How Scottish cities would look after independence


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