Santander has become the latest UK company to bring its international call centres back to the UK. The bank, which has performed poorly over complaints according to the industry ombudsman, says it has made the move in order to improve customer service.
Santander has hired an extra 500 UK staff to handle the estimated 1.5 million calls each month. They are already fully trained and available to take calls. In all, the bank's UK call centres employ 2,500 staff.
In 2003, before its takeover by Santander, Abbey sent its call centres to India as a cost-cutting measure, but this coincided with an increase in customer complaints. The move back to the UK is part of what Santander says is a commitment to get things right: "This is a major step for us," said Ana Botin, pictured, the chief executive of Santander UK, "and I am determined that we will do even more to improve the service we offer, as I plan further initiatives later this year."
The bank also says it is boosting staff numbers in its complaints department and that improvements in standards are being seen – with 80 per cent of complaints now dealt with within 48 hours.
Last week, telecommunications firm New Call Telecom announced that it was moving one of its call centres from India to Lancashire, in a move that could bring 100 jobs to the area.