Westpac is moving 1000 overseas call centre jobs back to Australia after admitting that it has failed to keep up with a surge in demand during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The positions, currently filled in India and Australia, will be shifted to Australia over the next year after a surge in demand for customer assistance at the start of the pandemic meant that "at times our response rates have been too slow," says CEO Peter King
King says all dedicated voice roles will return to Australia, adding that this is possible in part, because Covid-19 has led to "changing work patterns" and in part because the bank has revamped its tech infrastructure over recent years.
Last month, Su Duffey from the bank's HR team trumpeted Westpac's response to the pandemic, declaring that the 'WFH hub' is here to stay and arguing that there could be a move to smaller sites more spread out across the country rather than focusing on giant buildings in the big cities.
The new roles will become part of this more distributed workforce structure post-Covid and will be a mix of reassigned existing staffers and new employees. The staff will support call centres, as well as provide processing and operational assistance to functions like home lending and consumer finance.
The move will boost productivity but will initially increase costs by around $45 million per annum. The bank will also continue to work with overseas partners, particularly when it comes to tech and operations.