Following a review which started in May of this year, Lloyds TSB is to outsource up to 210 IT roles, both staff and contractors, to offshore locations.
The bank said that, from October this year, a total of 100 permanent roles within Lloyds TSB Group IT will be outsourced to three companies — Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Cognizant and Wipro — with a further 110 contractor roles also affected.
As part of an agreement with the workers' union, the bank has guaranteed all affected staff the offer of another role within the group, alongside a training bond worth £2,000.
The bank is also opening up the opportunity for voluntary redundancy to all IT staff. A statement from Lloyds TSB said: "We fully expect to be able to manage the small reduction in permanent staff numbers through voluntary redundancies — and we have an extremely strong track record in this area."
Lloyds TSB Group IT director Darryl West said in a statement: "As a result of a review we've been carrying out over the past few months, we have decided to outsource a small number of roles within our IT division, the majority of which are currently held by contractors. Our permanent staff will all be guaranteed the offer of another role within Lloyds TSB and, to help this process, we are also offering staff across IT the option of voluntary redundancy."
The National Outsourcing Association said that organisations have to tread carefully with offshoring, and that careful and thorough negotiation with the unions and staff is required.
It said: "It would appear that Lloyds has managed to clear this obstacle. The bank has negotiated an agreement with Unite to offer alternative positions to all staff, but not all these jobs are in IT, which will mean re-training old IT staff to fit new roles. Although Lloyds is trying to the do the right thing, staff may feel demoralised and their trust in the organisation somewhat diminished."