Financial services union Unifi has reacted furiously to plans by British banking group HSBC to cut a further 3500 jobs from UK operations and move work to overseas centres.
In a statement, Rob O' Neill, Unifi official, says the jobs cull is "savage" and that the union was consulting members on possible industrial action.
The latest job cuts are in addition to the 4000 call centre and back office processing positions that HSBC plans to transfer to overseas centres in Asia over the next three years, which was announced last October.
The new cuts are part of an overall shake-up of HSBC's UK operations and will affect staff at the bank's head office as well as at regional centres. HSBC will close three processing centres in Frimley, Leeds and Avon in 2006 and transfer the 525 jobs to Asia. Unifi says in total this amounts to the closure of 10 centres over the next two and a half years.
The cuts include 800 branch administration jobs but, at the same time, HSBC will create 1000 new customer services posts.
Rob O' Neill, UNIFI official, says: "These latest plans to cut jobs are coming from the top down in order to slash costs and is certainly not a measured look at the business needs and the staff required to deliver a good service to customers."