Sale hits finance staff.

Hundreds of finance staff at Consignia, formerly known as the Post Office, could find their roles hit by its plans to outsource core services in a baid to stave off growing competition from the private sector.

The organisation confirmed this week that accounting was among the parts of its business it was considering hiving off to an outside business.

A spokeswoman could not confirm how many finance staff it employed, but said its transaction services department which employs 2,000 staff was one of the areas being looked at. She could not put a figure on how many accountants it included. Consignia’s finance chief is Marisa Cassoni, while Ernst & Young acts as auditor.

Other core services at Consignia under consideration for outsourcing include consulting, legal and human resources.

The spokeswoman said it will not sell to the highest bidder but is looking for ‘the best commercial fit … and finding partners will give benefits of providing staff with better career opportunities’.

But Consignia’s attempts to placate staff have had little effect.

Postal workers this week threatened an all-out strike across the UK if any part of Consignia is contracted out or sold off. Last week’s unofficial walkouts by postal workers caused severe delays in deliveries that are still affecting parts of Britain.

Siemens has emerged as the frontrunner to take over the sorting and delivery services following a review by Big Five firm KPMG which began last September and is due to end in August.

KPMG declined to comment due to client confidentiality.

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