UK bank LloydsTSB is to hire 150 workers in India in a pilot test of a programme to migrate general insurance work to lower cost centres.
The bank says it will move 107 claims, telephone helpline and sales jobs to India from Bournemouth and Newport, and hire an additional 43 Indian staff for work not already performed in the UK.
The move has been slammed by finance worker's union Unifi, which says the pilot is three times bigger than originally envisaged and entails the transfer of more skilled labour. LloydsTSB is now the only major UK bank with no form of national agreement with Unifi to deal with outsourcing overseas.
In a statement, the union says: "Unifi has been given a clear impression that LTSB sees this pilot as a way of proving that they can make outsourcing to India work, rather than an open-ended test of whether the India proposition is good for the bank, its staff and its customers."
The bank's general insurance arm employs a total of 1850 staff, with the majority based in Newport, South Wales.
In November, LloydsTSB outlined plans to close its call centre in Newcastle and shift some 750 jobs to India.