American Express will conduct a feasibility study into the closure of one of its Sydney service centres, which caters for its Japanese cards business.
There are three Sydney service centres, according to spokesperson Luisa Megale, with the other two servicing Australian and New Zealand customers. The Japanese centre is the smallest of the three.
The study, which will consider the long-term viability of the centre given the difficulty of finding employees with Japanese language skills, will not likely be completed until the end of the second quarter of this calendar year, according to Megale.
She declined to reveal how many people worked in the relevant service centre. If the closure went ahead, American Express said in a release that services would be provided from Japan itself.
The study is part of a global restructuring effort that will see a US facility closed, with jobs transferred to other locations within the country. A Madrid centre will also be subject to a feasibility study or local consultation, which could see positions transferred to the UK and Argentina.
Overall staffing levels are expected to decline by around 550 positions net, the company said, but 3500 positions could be impacted due to relocations. The consolidation along with re-engineering initiatives were expected to deliver annual savings of around US$70 million from 2012.
The decision to consolidate was triggered by service volumes decreasing as transactions migrated to online and mobile channels, according to the company.