Barclays buys stake in India's Intelenet

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Barclays paid £19m for a stake in one of India's largest customer services companies yesterday, reinforcing its interest in outsourcing work to the subcontinent.

Barclays paid £19m for a stake in one of India's largest customer services companies yesterday, reinforcing its interest in outsourcing work to the subcontinent.

It will take a 50 per cent stake in Intelenet, the processing arm of Housing Development Finance, India's largest mortgage lender.

Britain's third largest bank is one of a string of UK financial institutions to cut costs by transferring jobs to India's low-wage but highly skilled workforce.

So far, it has moved 464 processing jobs to India, though it has not followed competitors in setting up call centres there. It already uses Intelenet, based in Bombay, to carry out back-office work for its UK customers.

The bank denied that its decision to take a stake in Intelenet signalled an intention to dramatically increase the amount of work it plans to outsource, saying the move was to give it greater control over customer service levels.

Roger Davis, the head of Barclays' core UK banking operations, said: "We continue to see offshore outsourcing as one way of improving business efficiency and productivity, but never at the expense of customer service."

In January, Barclays attempted to defuse a backlash against its outsourcing programme by the banking union Unifi by agreeing not to make compulsory redundancies. Of the 464 individuals whose jobs have been moved to India, Barclays said 75 per cent had been redeployed.

Comments