Barclays to create 2,000 tele-banking jobs in North-east

BARCLAYS, the UK bank, is to create up to 2,000 jobs in the North- east with a new telephone banking centre.

The centre, at Doxford International Business Park in Sunderland, is scheduled to open in early 1999. Barclays hopes to begin recruiting for the centre in the summer.

Gary Hoffman, delivery channel strategy director at Barclays, said: "Our decision reflects the increasing popularity of telephone banking among our customers. It is vital for our telephone banking service to be able to grow to meet their needs."

Barclaycall, the bank's telephone banking service, currently has more than 600,000 customers. Barclays predicts this number will grow to 1 million over the next two years.

Councillor Bryn Sidaway, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "We are delighted that Barclays has chosen Sunderland for this major new development. This is further proof ... that Sunderland is an excellent location for businesses."

The news was not enthusiastically received by everyone. UNiFI, the trade union that represents more than two-thirds of Barclays' staff, said it had mixed feelings about the bank's plans.

Sarah Messenger, a national officer, said: "UNiFI always welcomes the creation of jobs and the North-east is an area where the union has been pressing for a new centre to be located. However, the fact that the union is not recognised in this centre is a matter of major concern for staff. It is hoped that this new project will not remove jobs from existing staff."

A Barclays' spokesperson said it did recognise the union on issues of health and safety, as well as on grievance and disciplinary procedures. He admitted the bank did not discuss pay with the union.

The spokesperson denied that the move would endanger branch jobs. He added: "The union ought to welcome 2,000 new jobs. It is good for the region and for Barclays as a whole."

Barclays' two other call centres are based in Coventry and Manchester. Barclays said the bank had considered numerous possible locations before settling on Sunderland, but had been won over by the quality of the site, the local workforce and the communication links. He said the North-east accent "engenders warmth and trust".

The spokesperson denied the bank had chosen to locate in Sunderland because of financial incentives.

Barclays' announcement follows a similar move by the Prudential and is part of an industry-wide expansion into telephone banking. Last month, the Pru announced it would build a new telephone centre in Derby, creating up to 1,500 jobs. Bank of Scotland and Standard Life have both said they will double their telebanking staff.

High street banks have rapidly expanded their tele-banking services in an attempt to claw back market share from successful entrants such as Virgin and the supermarkets.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links