Barclays acquires 50% stake in Indian BPO firm

Barclays acquires 50% stake in Indian BPO firm

Barclays Bank has purchased a 50% stake in India-based business process outsourcing firm, Intelenet Global Services, from Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) for £19 million.

Intelenet was started as a 50:50 joint venture between Tata Consultancy Services and Indian financial conglomerate HDFC in 2000 and now offers BPO and call centre services to 18 clients from the US and UK. In July, HDFC acquired TCS' 50% stake in the venture and outlined plans to expand in areas such as mortgage processing, insurance claims processing and other back-office functions.

In a brief statement, Barclays and HDFC say they intend to operate Intelent as a 50:50 joint venture based in Mumbai. Completion is expected by end October 2004.

In January, Barclays became the first UK bank to agree a framework with labour unions over the outsourcing of jobs to low-cost countries.

New research from Forrester suggests that more than one million European jobs will move offshore over the next ten years, and that 350,000 of these will be from the financial services industry. With the UK accounting for three quarters of the total, Forrester suggests that financial services firms in continental Europe will struggle to compete and may even become takeover targets.

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