Suncorp confirms it's transferring 'a number' of New Zealand admin jobs to its 'strategic partners in Asia'

“A number” of Suncorp employees in New Zealand risk losing their jobs.

The Australian company, which owns Vero, Asteron Life and part of AA Insurance, has announced a proposal to move some of its New Zealand-based admin jobs to its “strategic partners in Asia”.

Its executive general manager of people experience, Catherine Dixon, says: “We have entered into a consultation process with our Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch people who are impacted by this change, and as part of this process have identified a number of new roles that they can apply for.”

Suncorp won’t say whether The Herald's report 70 jobs are on the line is correct.

“We are unable to provide details on the number of roles being disestablished or the number of new roles being created as the consultation process is now underway,” Dixon says.

“The strategic partnering programme is not about reducing head count. By moving some roles offshore, and creating new roles here in New Zealand, Suncorp New Zealand will increase the capability of its business, and improve the service we provide our customers.”

Suncorp confirms the announcement has nothing to do with its bid to buy Tower.

Vero has secured 13.2% of the struggling insurer’s shares and applied for Commerce Commission approval to buy the rest.

It’s up against Canadian giant, Fairfax Financial Holdings, which has agreed to buy Tower, but is yet to get full shareholder and regulatory approval.

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16 Comments

"Phillipines"

Start taxing these ... [inappropriate word deleted, Ed] over lost GDP for the country

Aren't tax and the minimum wage what make kiwi jobs go overseas?

That's what tariffs are for when they do

Where we impose tariffs on another country's imports into NZ they will likely return the favour. Given the size of our consumer base I don't see how we can win in this arrangement. With the same Tarif both ways naturally companies will move to where there is a larger consumer base?

duplicate post.

Yes and no. Tariffs are supposed to stop imports undercutting, and therefore stealing the market from goods produced in NZ. Suncorp moving their jobs off shore would actually increase the level of profit they make in NZ and therefore increase their tax exposure (else it would not be economically viable), and the announced Government moves will be designed to make sure this occurs.

Sadr's comments refer to when Tariffs are misused. Tit for tat tariffs are not constructive. The application of tariffs needs to be considered carefully and many of the countries we trade with have tariffs (and other barriers) to our goods that are not reciprocated in any way.

The Government could easily improve NZ's job prospects and overall economic performance by supporting the properly structured establishment of efficient manufacturing industries the take advantage of our resources and abilities. The problem is they are too wedded to the free market principles and don't want to.

Two days ago we just had a large NZ bank complaining to our company, what a poor job the overseas based stuff is doing for them.

I love the title "executive general manager of people experience".
Is there also a general manager of people experience and a manager of people experience? How much would those salaries cost? Perhaps about as much as small call centre in a country that has no employment law.

Suncorp manager of 'people experience' Catherine Dixon, announces a significant number of jobs are to be axed in NZ and moved to Asia but then implies everything's gunna be alright because axed staff can apply for 'a number' of unspecified new jobs here in NZ.

Clearly it won't be alright. There will be a net loss of Kiwi jobs. Probably quite a few. Otherwise why go out with a message attempting to soften the victims up?

Dixon's fancy footwork around the facts might lull some staff but Suncorp has a track record of outsourcing processing and customer service work to India.

Tower staff might want to think about taking a crash course in Hindi.

Well yes that would certainly be good and useful advice. Of course the double Dutch that has been in use to date for handling EQ claims by Tower will be really handy should the outsourcing perhaps land somewhere in the old Dutch East Indies. Speaking of which it seems that Vero might have already adopted this lingo too, judging by the example on Empowered Facebook today. Is it not true that the former CHCH manager of Tower is now implanted at Vero as EQ claims manager?

Yep, he moved to the Vero earthquake team some months ago. Not as head of it, some other role as I understand it.

Same rubbish that was wheeled out this time last year when a restructure took place. As the 2016 Annual Report said about Suncorp's restructure "It will also deliver an ongoing benefit of at least $80 million per annum, at an upfront charge of $55 million". Reduced jobs = reduced costs.

"Not about reducing headcount"? It's certainly about reducing costs which comes at the price of NZ jobs.

Where's Donald Trump ?

He would not have a bar of this

He has so many terrific, just really terrific, fantastic people working for him that he'd never need to outsource any work

Large Australian insurers like Suncorp and QBE have been following the trend to outsource service areas to places like India and the Philippines for some years now. No one seems to be complaining too much that their queries and problems are being handled by someone in Hydrabad or Manila – although the accent can be a bit jarring for some. But then Australians have had to get used to Qantas phone service people having a Kiwi twang. Some insurers are keeping claims processes in-country, but as long as service standards are maintained, we're all going to have to get used to this shifting of processes to other places. Tower fell by the wayside because its costs were too high, which made it uncompetitive in its own market – i.e., people didn't buy their insurance products because they were too expensive. If you want to keep buying local products at the best possible price, you have to accept that the suppliers will try to cut their back-end costs by doing thinks like shifting jobs offshore. Welcome to the global economy.

Yes, all true. But interesting that Suncorp also keeps many back office functions in Aussie.

Getting offshore based service centres operating effectively, that are staffed by people from other cultures and who have limited appreciation of the local environment, is challenging. Insurance is not like telcos or other commodity products. The larger brokers also compete on domestic insurance products with locally based staff.