India Covid-19 catastrophe forces bank call centre operations back to the UK
Barclays bank has announced some of its India call centre operations will be brought back to the UK as staff in India are struggling to cope with the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
Other UK and US banks and companies are now deciding on whether to do the same, according to media reports in India over the weekend.
More than 20,000 people in India are employed by Barclays but many of its India staff have been forced to stay at home, as the country’s death toll rises, said Barclays chief executive Jes Staley.
“One of the shifts was on our call centre people in the UK. Our people in our branches really stepped up. Historically we have not used branch personnel to take incoming call centre calls,” he added.
Staley said the shift will be permanent as it is to remain in place even after the pandemic ends.
“We went to all of our branch personnel said ‘Would you mind, if you’re not busy, letting us direct a call to a call centre to you in the branch to help a consumer?’ and people stepped up right away, and that’s an exercise we will continue, even past the pandemic,” he explained.
Staley added that Barclays has sent money via its charitable foundation to support the efforts in the country.
He added that the employee’s flexible approach throughout that pandemic also means the company is unlikely to need so much office space – like rival banks which have implemented hybrid working.
A review of its offices is underway, and Staley said he expects to see a hybrid working model in the future.
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