Santander UK to switch Indian call centres back to Britain

8th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spanish-owned Santander UK announced on Friday that it will return its call centres in India back to Britain, creating 500 jobs, and cited a high number of complaints from customers.

"Santander UK is returning all of its Indian call centres to the UK so that all retail banking customers ringing the bank will have their call answered by a UK-based employee," the lender said in a statement.

"The move is part of Santander's programme to further improve the service it offers and follows feedback from customers who say dealing with an offshore call centre is a frustration that can lead to dissatisfaction."

Back in 2003, Abbey, as the group was then known, outsourced its call centre operations to centres in Bangalore, southern India, and Pune in the west.

"Improving the service we offer is my top priority," said Santander UK chief executive Ana Botin in the statement.

"Our customers tell us they prefer our call centres to be in the UK and not offshore. We have listened to the feedback and have acted by re-establishing our call centres back here."

All calls that were handled in India will now being dealt with by staff based in Glasgow, Leicester and Liverpool.

Santander added that is has hired 500 extra staff to handle the estimated 1.5 million calls per month. The group's British call centres currently employ a total of 2,500 staff.

Last week, meanwhile, telecommunications company New Call Telecom said it will move one of its offshore call centres from India to Burnley, Lancashire, because of increased costs.

Spain's Santander entered the British retail banking market with the 2004 purchase of lender Abbey National, which was subsequently changed to Abbey. The division was rebranded as Santander UK last year.

© 2011 AFP

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