Santander repatriates UK call centre staff

Santander repatriates UK call centre staff

Santander is to move 500 call centre roles from India back to the UK in an effort to improve customer service standards.

The Spanish bank says the move follows feedback from customers who say dealing with an offshore call centre is a frustration that can lead to dissatisfaction.

Santander has hired an additional 500 UK staff to handle the estimated 1.5 million calls received at its offshore call centres in Pune and Bangalore. The switch raises the total number of Santander UK call centre staff to 2500 and means that all retail banking inquiries will be fielded from the UK.

The Spanish bank is overhauling its complaints procedure after being accused of shabby service standards by UK customers. The problems have been compounded by an apparent absence of protocols for handling complaints, with customers shunted around different departments within the bank.

Ana Botín, chief executive officer of Santander UK, comments: "Improving the service we offer is my top priority. Our customers tell us they prefer our call centres to be in the UK and not offshore. We have listened to the feedback and have acted by re-establishing our call centres back here."

The creation of the new UK call centre positions is one a series of initiatives instituted by the bank over the past year in an effort to address the root cause of complaints, including the hiring of 1000 new staff in customer facing roles and the creation of specialist complaints handling unit.

The banks says the programme has reduced the number of grumbles from customers, and that 80% of all grievances are now dealt with within 48 hours.

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