Australian bank outsources 500 jobs to India

July 10th, 2008 - 4:21 pm ICT by IANS  

By Neena Bhandari
Sydney, July 10 (IANS) One of Australia’s four leading banks, the National Australia Bank (NAB), Thursday announced it would outsource 500 jobs across several business units, including information technology, to India by the year-end to maintain a competitive edge. As part of NAB’s technology transformation plan, the jobs to develop its several hundred million dollar, next-generation platform will be outsourced to Indian software service providers Satyam and Infosys.

“This is about change and not just offshoring. Change can be brought about by restructuring and also by outsourcing to local and international suppliers,” NAB spokeswoman Kerrina Lawrence told IANS.

“Since 2004-2005, NAB has been looking at the benefits of offshoring work, which together with other efficiency measures delivered the bank A$292 million ($279 million or Rs.12.09 billion) in cost benefits,” she added.

About 500 technology “roles”, including 200 permanent staff, will be impacted by the year-end. Over the past few years, NAB outsourced 500 back-office jobs overseas, a good proportion in Bangalore, Chennai, Jaipur and Hyderabad.

During this period, the bank also added about 900 jobs to its Australian regional workforce.

“Offshoring has improved NAB’s efficiency while employing more customer-facing staff to improve customer relationships,” Lawrence said.

“There has been a strong push towards specialisation in private and public banking for health, government, education and food and beverages,” she added.

NAB’s technology business unit is in the final months of transitioning the first wave of 264 roles (of which 111 are permanent staff and 153 are contract roles) to an India-based supplier.

Within NAB’s permanent workforce, about 70 have chosen to take redundancy compensation, with the remainder to be redeployed.

Another review got underway this week in the bank’s technology division. About 171 roles are under review made up of 85 permanent and 86 contract based roles.

“Technology staff were advised that the review will scope the benefits offshoring could deliver to NAB’s future capability requirements. A business case will be prepared at the end of the review outlining the next step,” Lawrence said.

Other Australian banks that have outsourced information technology jobs to India include ANZ, Westpac, St. George and the Commonwealth Bank.

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