Second major British bank to transfer service operation overseas

Friday, 31 October 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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LONDON: British Lloyds TSB announced in a statement on Friday that it was closing its Newcastle call centre, where more than 900 staff are employed, by the end of next year and it would transfer the operation to India and to other call centres around the country.

The third biggest British bank said "this has been a very difficult decision and has only been made after considerable thought and discussion".

It said "we operate in a fiercely competitive environment and it is vital that we find ways of running our business effectively and competitively, in order to continue to invest in the service and products we provide to our customers".

Britain's largest commercial bank HSBC announced October 16 it would cut 4,000 jobs at its British customer service centres over the next three years and would transfer the work to service centres in India, China and Malaysia beginning January 2004.

Lloyds TSB said "in September 2003, we announced our intention to have 1,500 jobs in India by the end of 2004, of which these roles are a part".

Bernadette Fisher, the national officer of bank workers' union UNIFI, described the bank's move as "callous" and said it is "jumping on the outsourcing overseas bandwagon accelerated by HSBC earlier this month, and shows that despite all Lloyds' statements on social responsibility it has no respect for staff, customers or local communities.

"It is purely in the business of generating profit without a conscience," she said.

Source: IANS
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