Norwich call centres gave Aviva boss Mark Wilson a first-hand view of the business

Mark Wilson has been appointed the chief executive of Aviva

Mark Wilson has been appointed the chief executive of Aviva - Credit: Archant

Aviva boss Mark Wilson today revealed how he was getting a first-hand picture of the business during visits to call centres, including Norwich.

The New Zealander, who took over the top job at the insurance giant in January said he had spent the first six months in post getting to know different parts of the business, which employs around 6,000 staff in the city.

'I have been to Norwich and York and also up to Perth,' he said. 'I have sat in the call centres listening to how we deal with customers.

'Our frontline people are as good as I have ever seen, where we have been excelling with the customers,' he said. 'That's the area where we are really good.'

Hundreds of jobs are at risk in Norwich as part of a global restructuring which envisages a cut in staff numbers of about 6pc across the board. The firm has yet to give a detailed breakdown of how many staff could eventually leave the business in Norwich, although in June it emerged that 180 group personal pension posts based in the city were at risk, while 650 UK posts and 300 contractor posts could also go.

Mr Wilson said yesterday he was keen to complete the turnaround process for the group involving the loss of 2,000 jobs 'as quickly as we can'.

Unveiling his first set of interim results since taking over in January, he said the business had made 'satisfactory progress' in its turnaround strategy with pre-tax profits for the whole group at £776m – in contrast to last year's £624m loss. Overall performance in its UK general insurance business, which is largely based in Norwich, was 'solid with operating profit of £239m, up 5pc', helped by more benign weather, he said.