Westpac’s plans to “perhaps” increase its offshoring is interesting. The published information seems to do everything but discuss which functions may be transferred – but if the number is fairly precise (400 in this case) the function they are looking at would be fairly certain. As both a customer and an occasional consultant to Westpac I just hope it is not a customer facing area.

While I do not have a problem generally with offshoring I have experienced this from a customer’s point of view while trying to deal with the Royal Bank of Scotland on a private banking matter. It was difficult, to say the least. They did not have the capacity to deal with a situation that was not on their sheets and they had no real idea of how to contact an actual branch to talk to branch staff.

If this is going to be done, it has to be done properly or the customers just feel like they are not why the bank is there. This is not good for any business.

On the other hand, the FSU just seems to want to grandstand on this. The sooner they start trying to work in a globalised economy and understand that this is going to happen and working with the banks on this the sooner they will be consulted early. The banks do not talk to them because they know that the response will be “little Australia” and “poor, oppressed worker” headlines, rather than reasoned discussions.

Update – NAB is joining in according to today’s Australian – no link to their site, but finextra carries it as well

Further UpdateIndian bank workers have problems with this too. They differentiate for the western protests in this way:

However the Indian unions say their protest is different from that of workers in richer Western countries who have lost jobs to India. RJ Sridharan, general secretary of AIBOA, told the Financial Times that India is a labour-oriented country “so we need more jobs that are secure” and that developed countries “have fewer hands to work”.

. I think that idea would give the

FSU apoplexy.