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'Customers losing faith in cos which outsource to India'

Amicus' study says customers feel Indian firms are not well-trained and can't keep personal data safe, reports Nabanita Sircar.

india Updated: Dec 25, 2003 21:34 IST

Angered by Abbey National's announcement of a pilot programme to outsource back office jobs to Bangalore, unions have called for an urgent meeting with the management.

The company has begun negotiations with US based Msource who offer transaction processing, accounting and pay-roll services based in Bangalore and Pune.

Amicus, the insurance and financial services union has conducted a research that has shown a growing gulf between customers and companies that outsource. UK customers believe that British companies do a good job and have high levels of training and knowledge and their personal data is safe. The study has also shown that customers believe that Indian companies fail on all three counts.

Analysts Deloitte Research have predicted that two million jobs will be outsourced from western economies to India by 2008 because of labour cost savings of up to 40 per cent. Amicus believes 200,000 UK jobs are at risk in call centres, back office paper processing, IT support and legal.

Roger Lyons, Amicus Joint General Secretary, said: "Our survey has shown the growing trust deficit between companies that outsource and the people who buy life products. British companies must listen before they do their brands irreparable damage.

"Outsourcing is a fact of global life but it must not be done at the expense of any one national economy over another. The same thing that happened to manufacturing could happen in the service sector unless the government, employers and unions take immediate action to properly manage technological change".

First Published: Dec 25, 2003 21:33 IST