Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) announced on Monday it will be moving 443 UK jobs to Mumbai in a cost-cutting measure.
The positions in question relate to the handling of loans for small businesses, which have caused concerns about whether the process will become more difficult if it is partially carried out abroad.
RBS stressed, however, that none of the roles being moved to India are client-facing, and that customer services – including who makes decisions about whether or not to grant a loan – will continue to be carried out by workers in the UK.
“As we become a simpler, smaller bank, we are making some changes to the way we serve our customers,” a spokesperson from RBS told the BBC.
But Unite union were concerned about the implications of the change. “By shipping these jobs to India, RBS will be getting that work done more cheaply at the cost of jobs and livelihoods in the UK,” a spokesperson told the BBC.
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group owns both RBS and Natwest banks. The group is majority owned by the UK government, following its £45 billion bailout ($58.65 billion) after the 2008 financial crisis.
The news comes after the bank announced in May that it would cut nearly 250 jobs in its technology department, many of which would be moved to India. This prompted Unite national officer Rob MacGregor to comment, “Unite cannot understand how RBS, which continues to be taxpayer-backed, can justify hundreds more staff cuts and continue transferring important work out of the country.”
“It is wholly inappropriate and unjustified for these technology roles to be sent offshore. Unite has called on RBS to halt the offshoring announcements and impose a moratorium on the offshoring of jobs,” he said.
In its most recent annual report, RBC Chairman Howard Davies described 2016 as “another difficult year.” But the report noted the group had been successful in its goal of “simplifying the bank,” which had involved reducing “operating expenses by £800 million.”