The Co-operative Bank and Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) have set out plans for a 12-month recruitment drive to fill some 500 service centre jobs in North-West England, in a reversal of the trend for exporting support staff overseas.
The bank and CIS employ some 2000 staff at seven service centres at various locations across North-West England. The recruitment will take place for positions in Manchester, Skelmersdale and Stockport.
Sheila Macdonald, chief operating officer at The Co-operative Bank, says: "I believe passionately that when a customer contacts us, by whatever means, they should be dealing with one of our own staff, trained and managed by us and with a dedicated focus on our customers’ needs and our products and services. So whilst others are happy to use call centres in India and other overseas locations, we do not intend to."
The Nationwide Building Society last month offered a similar call centre recruitment rationale, joining a hardcore band of UK financial firms, including Northern Rock, Royal Bank of Scotland, Alliance & Leicester and HBOS, which have all pledged to retain UK staff.