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Last Updated: Friday, 21 May, 2004, 07:33 GMT 08:33 UK
Shareholder demo over bank jobs
Union officials against a bank's plans to move almost 1,000 Tyneside call centre jobs to India are lobbying shareholders.

The Lloyds TSB Group Union (LTU) was petitioning the company's annual general meeting in Scotland on Friday.

Union officials were urging shareholders to consider the long-term effects on company profits and customer numbers.

The bank's call centre in Newcastle is to close, with the loss of 960 jobs.

Union members have collected 360,000 signatures so far from customers visiting Lloyds TSB branches nationwide.

The union, which represents more than 45,000 staff, has been campaigning against plans by the company to move a total of 1,500 jobs from the UK to India by the end of 2004.

'Switch banks'

It fears the move could mean more jobs eventually "off-shored" from call centre, service centres and bank office operations run by the bank.

A union spokesman said: "We are urging shareholders to look at the facts and see that off-shoring of Lloyds TSB's operations is not only bad for customers and staff but for shareholders too.

"A host of recent independent surveys have shown that off-shoring leads to poorer customer service and customer dissatisfaction.

"Many customers have said they would rather switch banks than have their financial arrangements managed abroad.

"If the bank continues to ignore customer wishes then even greater numbers are likely to switch their accounts to those other banks who are committed to the UK, putting future profitability at risk."

Street demonstrations have already taken place outside the bank's offices in Newcastle.

The bank says it hopes most of the people to go from Newcastle, will do so as a result of natural wastage and redeployment.

The company has promised to offer everyone in Newcastle alternative employment when the call centre closes.





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SEE ALSO:
Lloyds TSB upbeat on profit hopes
15 Dec 03  |  Business
Strike vote over call centre closure
11 Dec 03  |  Tyne/Wear
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