Another top British bank jobs to go to Bangalore

Monday, 24 November 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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LONDON: Trade unions of leading British bank Abbey National expect that the bank will soon announce the closure of its Scottish Provident office in Edinburgh, with the loss of 500 of its 750 jobs to India.

The unions believe the closure is tied indirectly to Abbey's piloting of the outsourcing of back office work to Bangalore, a decision the bank announced last month.

Christine McAllister of Abbey National in Glasgow said: "These are data input jobs, and no jobs are affected in this country."

On whether jobs might be affected in future, she said: "It is all part of our new strategy, and the company's direction is changing.

"The data input pilot is part of our desire to become more efficient."

On the Edinburgh office, McAllister said: "There has been a huge amount of speculation.

"We have said that when a decision is taken on the future of any site the staff will hear it from us first, and we are committed to telling them as openly, honestly and rapidly as possible."

Earlier this month, the company gave a similar response to questions about the future of its 30 billion asset management operation in Glasgow, which employs 50 fund managers out of 110 staff and is a plank of the city's financial sector.

Hugh Scullion, regional officer for Amicus, said the union was meeting Abbey on December 3 and would press for a statement.

"We are very concerned about the situation. Abbey has people not just in Edinburgh but in Scotland in general, and after 300 years of Scottish Provident and Scottish Mutual they are just disappearing like snow off a dyke."

He told The Herald: "We want Abbey National to make a commitment similar to the Royal Bank, which has said they are not going to get involved in overseas outsourcing."

McAllister responded: "Every business has to make the right decision for its business, and we have decided this is something we are going to look at."

Source: IANS
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