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Swinton, the UK’s biggest high street insurance broker, is to make major cuts to its branch network as its customers move online.

The company said on Wednesday that it could close two-fifths of its 194 branches. Around 900 jobs are likely to go as a result.

The broker, which is owned by French insurer Covéa, said that 90 per cent of its customers now buy their insurance over the phone or online. It plans to invest £45m in new technology at its Manchester head office.

Gilles Normand, Swinton’s chief executive, said: “Ever since Swinton started selling insurance door-to- door 60 years ago, this business has always evolved — first via branches, then contact centres and increasingly online. Our approach today, which is based on a high contact strategy, no longer meets our customers’ needs.

“While branches continue to be an important part of our multi-channel business model, we need to ensure that we can interact with customers whenever, and however, they choose.”

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