British jobs' passage to India continues

Thursday, 25 September 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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LONDON: British business' passage to India continues, with a leading bank, Abbey National, confirming that it was moving several of its jobs and activities to India.

Lloyds TSB, another bank, announced that 1,500 roles were being created in Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Abbey National's move to India coincides with a 25-million-pound re-branding exercise that includes pruning its name to 'Abbey'.

Mike Fairey, deputy group chief executive of Lloyds TSB, did not rule out job losses in Britain as a result of the decision to expand in India.

"At this time we cannot be precise about the likely impact on jobs in the U.K. Any reductions in staff numbers will be achieved through natural wastage, reductions in temporary and agency staff, by redeploying people, and, where appropriate, by offering voluntary redundancy," he said in a memo to the bank's 79,000 staff.

Luqman Arnold, chief executive of Abbey National, said none of the bank's current 27,000 staff would lose their jobs this year as a result of a new pilot operation in India.

Instead, he highlighted 150 jobs that would be created in call centres and 450 in branches as part of an effort to boost customer service.

Promising to "turn banking on its head", Arnold also pledged to simplify the range of accounts, mortgages and savings products offered by the bank in an attempt to alter the way it deals with customers.

From now, the bank intends to be known as Abbey, using a new logo.

Source: IANS
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