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'Train before losing jobs'

HSBC's employees in Sheffield are up in arms for being asked to train staff from India who would then take over their jobs.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2006 14:03 IST

A section of bank major HSBC's employees in Sheffield are up in arms for being asked to train staff from India who would then take over their jobs, lending a new twist to outsourcing from Britain to India.

The request to train the Indian staff has angered workers in the HSBC Accounting Centre in the town who were told this week that their department would be closed and moved to Hyderabad.

Local reports say that up to 40 Sheffield staff will be hit by the closure, but all have been told by the bank that they will be provided new roles in the company, if they wanted them.

An HSBC spokesman confirmed that the Accounting Centre, which pays the bank's bills as well as processing the expenses of its staff, would be closing.

"This is a measure that will bring efficiency and common sense into our accounting procedures," he said, adding that it was not unusual to ask existing staff to prepare new workers who take over their roles.

A spokesman for trade union Amicus said the Accounting Centre had been located in Sheffield since the days of the Midland Bank.

"Some of the staff have more than 25 years service. It is not the fault of the people from India, but there is bound to be resentment from people who will have to teach others who are taking their jobs," she said.

"Staff have been told there will be no redundancies and they will be redeployed but we will have to wait and see if workers are offered roles which suit their skills and personal circumstances."