Lloyds Banking Group is to move 190 UK-based IT roles to India, amidst wider restructuring at the bank and throughout the financial sector.
The banking firm confirmed today that it would be cutting 940 jobs across its business, as part of ongoing staff reductions within the company. A spokesperson told Computerworld UK that a number of jobs would also be moved to India, with 190 back-office IT roles being cut in it UK services division.
"Lloyds Banking Group is today announcing 940 role reductions within the group operations, insurance, retail, wealth and international and commercial divisions. These form part of the reductions previously announced in the Group's Strategic Review.
"Lloyds Banking Group is committed to working through these changes with employees in a careful and sensitive way. All affected employees have been briefed by their line manager today," the company said.
Relevant unions had been consulted prior to the decision, and that it would attempt to redeploy staff where possible, with compulsory redundancies "a last resort", it added.
Ged Nichols, general secretary of Lloyds' workers union Accord, said that the offshoring of jobs to India threatened to remove the expertise necessary to run the bank's IT infrastructure.
"Lloyds is clearly following its established business model, but maybe it is time for that business model to be looked at again," he said. "If we talk to the people in IT [at Lloyds], they say the loss of experience is a big risk to the organisation."
Nicholls added that the movement of IT jobs abroad is a "real fear" for staff, and that the practice is making less economic sense as the wage disparity with Indian staff decreaes. He also highlighted the impact on the UK economy.
"Particularly with offshoring IT roles to India, we are reaching the end of that particular practice making sense as wages in India go up," he said. "The savings that are achievable are reducing."
"In a broader sense, with the state of the economy, should we be losing jobs in the UK and reducing the demand in the economy even further?"
Members of Lloyds staff have also hit out at the ongoing outsourcing of jobs at the company. "There has definitely been a culture change whereby Lloyds Banking Group are quite happy to make senior IT professionals (compulsorily in my case) redundant, and ship the job over to India," one commented.
"This is in the belief that quality and productivity from a newly graduated Indian will be much higher than that from someone like myself with 17 years' service."
Another warned that the prospect of "significant restructuring and dramatically increased outsourcing" could mean that experienced IT staff look to move away from the company.
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