Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Wednesday, 7 May 2008 18:03 UK

900 jobs go in Goldfish closure

Goldfish premises
Barclaycard owns the Goldfish credit card business

The Goldfish credit card business is to close its customer service centre in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, with the loss of up to 900 jobs.

Barclaycard, which owns the firm, said it had started a consultation with staff and would make efforts to relocate them or identify other jobs.

It described the site in Cumbernauld as "additional capacity".

Barclaycard said the work would transfer to other centres, mostly in the UK, before the end of the year.

Goldfish customer service operations in Teesside, Kirkby and Northampton will take on most of the work.

No one wants to see job losses and I hope Barclaycard will re-think their plans and commit to what is a state of the art facility in Cumbernauld
Jamie Hepburn MSP, Central Scotland
The Goldfish head office at Canary Wharf in London will also close with the loss of 90 posts.

Workers at both sites were informed of the plans on Wednesday.

A three-month consultation period is now under way, with staff being given assistance to find jobs elsewhere in the Barclay Group or with local employers.

Barclaycard said it was in discussions with the Scottish Government and its agencies to minimise the impact on employees.

Amer Sajed, managing director of UK Cards at Barclaycard, said: "I understand that this proposal is difficult for the colleagues potentially impacted and we will make a comprehensive package of advice and support available to them if the proposals go ahead.

'State-of-the-art facility'

"We consider that this is the right strategy in the context of the highly competitive industry in which we operate.

"The flexibility we have created within Barclaycard's existing global servicing operations means we are able to maintain high levels of service for our existing customers and Goldfish customers, without the additional capacity provided by the Cumbernauld operation."

Enterprise Minister Jim Mather said he was "extremely disappointed" by the consultation on the future of the Cumbernauld centre.

"Both the first minister and I have been in contact with the company and officials have been actively exploring all possible avenues of assistance to allow Barclaycard to continue its presence in Cumbernauld," he said.

JVC plant
JVC announced it was closing its East Kilbride plant

"This is a custom built, state-of-the-art contact centre and a high quality workforce.

"If the final decision is closure, the Scottish Government and Scottish Development International will actively market the facility to look for alternative owners to take it over as a going concern.

"Obviously it's a difficult time for those whose jobs are under review and the government stands ready to help them find new employment."

His disappointment was echoed by Jim McCabe, leader of North Lanarkshire Council.

He said: "I am bitterly disappointed at the lack of loyalty shown to the Scottish workforce.

"I would not be surprised if the people of Scotland were to react negatively to that organisation."

The Cumbernauld closure is the latest jobs blow for the Lanarkshire area in the past six weeks.

In April, the electronics firm JVC announced that it was closing its factory in East Kilbride with the loss of 300 jobs.

The haulage and distribution company, Ramage, went into administration with the loss of 350 jobs nationwide, 136 of which were at its Glespin headquarters.

And in March, the contractor, Carillion Business Services, said was looking to close its Tannochside operation with the loss of about 600 jobs.


SEE ALSO
Workers 'stunned' by closure plan
25 Apr 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Haulage losses are 'major blow'
11 Apr 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
MSP calls for action to save jobs
02 Apr 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West

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