Northern Rock FD dismisses offshore moves

The full interview with Rob Bennett will appear online tomorrow

Northern Rock’s pledge to keep its workforce on UK soil for the immediate future will please trade unions and staff following the news this week that UK insurance giant Norwich Union has told staff it will cut 2,350 jobs in the UK and export the work to India.

FD Rob Bennett told Accountancy Age: ‘Whenever we keep improving efficiency on the overall business, which is what we’re doing, then we don’t really see the point in moving offshore.’

Norwich Union is the latest UK company to transfer jobs abroad from the British Isles. In November, Lloyds TSB said it was shipping 750 jobs over to Bangalore, India. HSBC has already gone down the outsourcing route, as has Barclays and Abbey.

Bennett cited control and regulation as key reasons for not exporting jobs abroad.

‘Control in the banking environment is something you need to keep a very, very close eye on,’ he said.

The FD said the Newcastle-based bank would always look to its northeast base first to improve efficiency before moving elsewhere.

In fact, the bank is currently extending its Gosforth offices to take on another 1,400 employees over the next three to five years.

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