Norwich Union 'still committed to offshoring'

Despite handful of jobs returning to the UK...
Written by Gemma Simpson, Contributor

Despite handful of jobs returning to the UK...

Norwich Union has said its decision to move 150 call centre jobs from India back to the UK is not a sign the company is turning its back on offshoring.

The reinstated UK positions will be handling calls relating to household claims, credit hire and some pensions work.

But a spokeswoman for Norwich Union said the company is still committed to India and the insurer is on target for having created 7,800 jobs in India by the end of 2007.

The spokeswoman said: "This is simply an exercise in tweaking out business units."

Norwich Union has embraced offshoring, with around 1,400 IT jobs outsourced to India by the end of 2005 as part of company-wide plans to save £250m per year by 2008.

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Norwich Union's decision to move a further 500 IT jobs to India last year angered some silicon.com readers with a handful threatening to withdraw their business from the insurer.

The news of the 150 Indian jobs coming back to the UK has done little to temper ill-feeling among consumers with one telling silicon.com it "is a tiny fraction of the exported jobs". He added that he has "avoided buying products from Norwich Union and its parent as a consequence" of the company's offshoring strategy.

Richard Hewson, from Wiltshire, said his insurance policy is up for renewal soon and the decision to bring jobs back to the UK does weigh in Norwich Union's favour but he too added it is still a miniscule number compared to the overall number of jobs offshored to India by the insurer.

Hewson added: "I am sure that Norwich Union could gain increased productivity as well as customer loyalty by retaining support functions within the UK."

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