UK consumers are mistrustful of firms who outsource processing and jobs to offshore locations and are less inclined to buy financial products from them, according to a survey conducted on behalf of white collar union Amicus.
Companies have been outsourcing jobs for the last 18 months to places like Bangalore and Mumbai in India where they can make up to 40% cost savings because of low rates of pay for sophisticated IT and call centre workers. Deloitte Consulting believes two million jobs will be exported from the West to India by 2008.
The Amicus study, conducted by call centre analysts Performance House, sampled the opinions of a representative sample of 1500 UK adults. The union, which has been campaigning against offshore outsourcing in the call centre industry, is highlighting the findings at a conference in London today.
Amicus says that consumer faith in financial brands, already blighted by the Enron and share-ramping scandals, is being further eroded by the trend towards offshore outsourcing.
Survey respondents feel that companies are not giving them enough information about where in the world their data is held. Eighty-seven per cent of consumers believe that cost savings are not being passed on to the public and an "overwhelming majority" that data protection will be compromised by the trend.
Sixty-two per cent of the sample say their choice of personal financial products would be influenced by whether the provider offshored or not.
Roger Lyons, Amicus joint general secretary, says: "The facts are now becoming clear. The British public does not trust firms who value their custom so little they process their data five thousand miles away and don't tell them they're doing it."