Australian bank Westpac stands to lose contracts it has with the New South Wales (NSW) government if it goes ahead with plans to shift hundreds of back office jobs to an offshore centre in India.
The bank is considering offshoring up to 400 jobs from its loans processing department in Sydney to a processing centre in Bangalore.
A Westpac spokesman told reporters that the bank was looking at ways to improve efficiency at the lending operations and one of those options is moving some processes out of Australia. But he rejected claims made by Australia's Financial Services Union (FSU) that an announcement on the move would be made this week and says the bank is "some months away" from making any decision.
Despite this NSW Premier Morris Iemma has vowed that the government will do all it can to keep the work in Australia.
Iemma told reporters that representatives from the Department of State and Regional Development have met with Westpac officials to "try and keep those jobs in Australia and in NSW".
He said the NSW government has a contract with Westpac and any move by the bank to offshore jobs would be taken into account when the contract expires.
Earlier this year National Australia Bank (NAB) said is was offshoring a further 81 back office jobs from its finance and accounting unit to India under an outsourcing agreement with Accenture. NAB is also looking to shift around 100 credit card processing jobs to an offshore centre in a bid to cut costs.