Nationwide expands UK call centre operations

Nationwide expands UK call centre operations

The UK's Nationwide Building Society is creating 200 new jobs as it moves it call centre operations in Swindon to a new purpose-built facility.

The society's current contact centre in Swindon, which employees about 400 people, is housed within the firm's head office. It will move to a purpose built facility by March 2008 and house 600 employees by 2010.

Mik Hodsdon, call centre director, Nationwide, says: "We handle around a million calls every month and this expansion will help us better meet the needs of our members whilst also providing additional employment in the communities in which we operate."

The building society has made substantial investments in its UK customer contact centre operations in the past three years, in direct contradiction of industry trends for shifting jobs offshore. Since 2002 the Society has opened three new centres in Wakefield, Sheffield and Swansea and refurbished its contact centre in Northampton.

Nationwide says research shows that the vast majority of customers want their calls to be answered by staff in the UK .

A poll of 1000 respondents by PanelWizard, commissioned by Nationwide, found that 93% of people believe it is important that their calls are handled by staff in a UK call centre. Around half of respondents said they would switch banks if their existing financial services provider started using offshore call centres.

Earlier this year Lloyds TSB and Norwich Union both said they were moving call centre operations back to the UK from India. In contrast, Barclaycard announced plans to close a centre in Manchester, which employed 630 staff, and move some of the work to Mumbai and Delhi.

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