Friends Provident, the FTSE 100 insurer, is believed to be considering consolidating its offices across the South of England, which could result in job losses.

The chief executive, Trevor Matthews, is believed to have asked his former Standard Life colleague Tony Brown, managing director of people and change at the company, to assess the viability of offices in Dorking, Salisbury and Exeter where nearly 2,000 work. A source said: 'Consolidation makes absolute sense. They are a legacy of the past so the creation of one central, cost effective location, seems spot on.'

Independent On Sunday