UK unions have reacted furiously to reports that Goldman Sachs is planning to relocate a "substantial part" of its London operations to India next year in an effort to cut costs.
The bank reportedly told staff of the plan in a confidential memo on Wednesday, according to UK broadsheet, The Independent. The report says the bank will move part of the IT and administration departments to India next spring or summer.
Goldman Sachs has yet to confirm or deny the report. The US investment bank was named earlier this year among a clutch of bulge-bracket institutions, including Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Deutsche, as contemplating plans to outsource research jobs to India.
Britain's largest professional union Amicus is warning that Goldman Sachs' decision to outsource its operations will spark a flood of copy cat actions resulting in tens of thousands of job losses. The union believes that Britain's largest and best-known companies are set to embark on a massive wave of offshore outsourcing but are only held back by fears that their brand image will be damaged.
Analysts predict a total of 2 million jobs will migrate from Western Europe by 2008.
Amicus says it intends to conduct a major survey to measure public attitudes to companies who export jobs out of Britain.
Roger Lyons, Amicus joint general secretary, says: "Britain's major companies are teetering on the brink of outsourcing hundreds of thousands of jobs. We hope the results of our survey will show that people do not want to buy life products from companies who are prepared to send their personal details thousands of miles away to be processed."