A TOTAL of 2,500 jobs are to go at the Amulet Group, the parent company of personal injury claims firm The Accident Group.

The Amulet Group, which provides legal expenses insurance for personal injury claims, was placed in administration yesterday and accountants PriceWaterhouseCoopers were appointed administrators.

The company issued a statement which said it had faced increasing difficulties on a number of fronts in recent months.

The news was at odds with a show of charity in December when company owners Mark and Debbie Langford donated £6m to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Most of the jobs are thought to be going in Manchester, where Amulet has its headquarters, and within The Accident Group.

Other companies in the group are Accident Investigations Limited and Claims Support Services Limited, which provide ancillary services, and First Advice Limited, which provides financial services and products.

Amulet's company statement described the job losses as a tragedy.

"Continual battles with the insurance industry and the sudden failure of a banking partner to support the company has meant that the company is forced to cease trading," it said.

"In many ways The Accident Group has been a victim of its own success.

"As market leaders in personal injury compensation, the company had been instrumental fulfilling the Government's wishes in providing the general public with direct access to justice. This has been achieved at considerable cost to the company.

"Since this new industry was created three years ago, The Accident Group, as market leaders, has had to battle on many fronts, particularly against the insurance industry."

PricewaterhouseCoopers said The Accident Group had experienced a lower than expected claims success rate.

That meant "increased insurance premiums on new businesses and retrospective claims from the underwriters", leading to financial difficulties for Amulet, it said.

The company was founded in 1993 and started out by processing road accident claims.

It went on to work with 575 solicitors on a variety of claim and expanded into financial services.

Profits reportedly grew 117 per cent a year from £1.7m in 1999 to £17m last year.