Standard Life cuts 139 jobs

LONDON Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:13pm GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - British life insurer Standard Life (SL.L) is to cut 139 jobs as part of a previously announced plan to merge its domestic business with that in the rest of Europe.

Standard Life, Britain's fifth-biggest insurer, has been cutting costs and reorganising to prepare for regulatory changes in Britain that will ban commission payments to brokers and automatically enrol workers into company retirement schemes, boosting pension saving.

In August, the 187-year old insurer said it would bring its British, Irish and German businesses under one roof to counterbalance its newly created emerging markets unit, focusing on China, Hong Kong and India.

"Our current model and structure has to change to meet the changing demands of this new world where customers will want to interact in different ways for different products," said Paul Matthews, head of Standard Life's UK and Europe arm.

Standard Life shares were down 0.2 percent at 1255 GMT, narrowly underperforming a flat FTSE 100 .FTSE share index.

The stock has risen 50 percent since the start of the year, outpacing a 28 percent rise in the FTSE life insurance index .FTASX8570.

(Reporting by Myles Neligan; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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