Barclays moves helpdesk jobs to India

And ING mulls outsourcing after 450 positions cut...

And ING mulls outsourcing after 450 positions cut...

Barclays Bank has said up to 140 jobs will be affected as it moves its internal UK helpdesk to India.

The bank will try to re-deploy workers before offering them redundancy packages when the technical support centre is transplanted from Cheshire to Mumbai.

Hilary McVitty, head of PR for Barclays, said: "It's premature to say that it will result in 140 job losses. We have been involved in selective outsourcing, which isn't always offshore. In this case it is."

The helpdesk service, dubbed Servicepoint, will be moved in October to Indian company Intelenet, of which Barclays owns a 50 per cent share.

McVitty said: "We do have a very hands-on approach. We've been very upfront in saying that offshore outsourcing is a way of improving efficiency in business."

Technology workers' union Amicus has been monitoring the bank's 1,000 planned redundancies since last year.

An Amicus spokeswoman said: "Obviously we don't welcome jobs going abroad. We are following very closely what is happening. But we do have a globalisation agreement with Barclays that requires them to maximise re-deployment and offer the best voluntary redundancy packages... and avoid compulsory redundancy."

Dutch bank ING has also announced it is "streamlining" its processes by axing 450 jobs in Europe.

Four hundred jobs in the Netherlands have been culled and 50 positions in Belgium will be eliminated to "preserve its competitive position".

In a statement, the Benelux bank said it will see annual cost reductions of €39m, while the one-off severance payments will cost €57m. The IT division employs approximately 18,000 staff.

The bank said it would try to support staff in the Netherlands 'from job to job' on the basis of a new collective labour agreement, and added it is examining the possibility of outsourcing work to another company.