back to article HBOS could shift 2,000 IT jobs to India

Halifax Bank of Scotland is considering moving as many as 2,000 backoffice and IT jobs to India. Executives flew out to Bangalore this week to meet possible offshoring partners. According to papers seen by the Mirror, offshore delivery of IT functions is a central part of its cost-cutting plans. The trip by 11 execs cost £45, …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks Gordon Brown, your prudence is breathtaking in the extreme.

    Completely shaft this country, give what is left to the EU and then do a runner.

    Fuck off.

  2. Joe K
    Thumb Down

    Hilarious, in a depressing way

    Has no-one told these "executives" that the whole "india is super cheap and reliable" thing is so 2004.

    Boy are they in for a shock.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Another Jolly you mean

    "Executives flew out to Bangalore this week to meet possible offshoring partners."

    If you're offering a multi-million pound contract, they should come to you not the other way around.

    I only visit vendor's or potential vendors at their offices if they offer a really good lunch, BOFH style.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    sounds like a well thought out plan to me!

    this is yet another daft initiave to reduce it costs but will like in 99% of these move it will turn out to be more expensive and less reliable and then slowly it will starting comming back in house or at least to the UK.

    I was already thinking about moving my accounts from HBOS after the recent scares and the possibility the Lloyds deal wont go through. Now i have another very good reason so will start looking into nationwide. any IT workers out there would be mad to consider a job at HBOS now as you could be for the chop before you know it. unless they retract this then we should all boycott them, we'd be mad not to.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Isn't it about time they started looking at

    Off shoring "executives" and the "board" - which will give huge savings per job and lets face - can't be done worse judging by current problems

  6. The Other Steve
    Coat

    They think the've got problems now ?

    Just wait until they've tried to coordinate the operation, maintenance and development of their business critical infrastructure across time zones and stark geographic and cultural boundaries.

    Just wait until they tell their key IT staff that they're going to be out of a job, but on the way out, could they just prepare a detailed handover and work through it with the three 'consultants' that the off shoring company will send to cover the whole deal.

    Oh yeah, then they either have to :

    a) Move some business types into a technical PM role that they're unsuited to because they aren't technical, which they will resent because it's a shitty job trying to coordinate IT staff who are not just normally IT type difficult, but also in a different time zone, and for whom English may not just be a second, but due to the vast diversity of languages in use in India (22 officially recognised, 70+ in day to day use) a third, fourth or even fifth language.

    or b) Move some IT people to a pure PM role, for which they may be unsuited due to skillset or general disposition, and which they will undoubtedly resent because they've just watched all their colleagues being brutally excised from the headcount and there's just something about losing all your tech juice and being asked to play nicely with the usurpers which leaves a bad taste in the mouth which no amount of cheap supermarket plonk will ever be able to entirely remove.*

    I don't know if it's still the case that bank staff are offered favourable mortgage rates, but if it is, then by the time they've finished dealing with the redundancy payouts and the mortgage defaults and bank switching from the staff they've just binned, I bet the cost saving numbers aren't so rosy. Add to that the likely tanking of the exchange rate as the collapse of capitalism continues to threaten to plunge the UK into a new dark age of widespread starvation populated by homeless lepers roasting dogs on spits** (or so I'm led to believe by the BBC's Robert Peston, who really needs to go home, get some sleep and decaffeinate a bit).

    Of course, I'm sure the bottom line feeders have taken all that into account. Oh yes.

    * What ? Too cynical ? Too Bitter ?

    ** I would say "with apologies to Neal Stephenson", but after "The Baroque Cycle", he can just fuck off as well, bastard.

  7. Neil
    Thumb Down

    If you ask me it's time that companies...

    were told that if they want to do business in this country they must employ British workers rather than offshored/outsourced workers from the sub-continent (or now, Eastern Europe as Indian rates are on the increase). Too many times I've seen "outsourced" and so-called "offshored" workers tip up at the old desk of a British former worker, giving the lie to many of the reasons why work is moved "overseas".

    Outsourcing is killing IT and other skilled jobs in this country - the long term decline of various industries will be the legacy of New Labour (amongst other things). If promised to bring in a ban on outsourcing I reckon they'd clean up at the polls - if companies want to fark off as a result then I won't shed a tear.

  8. Justin
    Thumb Up

    @Joe K

    They are probably part of the same executive team that have virtually sunk the bank with a poorly executed business plan no surprise they're continuing in that vein.

  9. Dave Coleshill
    Stop

    If their CS dept moves to India, I'm out.

    The only reason I'm with Halifax is that they have a British-based callcentre for their phone banking. If they outsource it to India, I'm moving banks. The last thing I need when trying to sort out my finances is a language barrier. I had enough problems they trialled a voice recognition system...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Bet these are the same bosses

    Who decided it would be "fun" to hand out an ipod to every senior manager in the bank at the local xmas piss up as a thank you ....Ohh yeah their Xmas "Thank you" to the rest of the staff was a cheap stress ball!

    Glad to see they are still looking after themselves even though the bank is in such trouble.

    Paris as I bet she goes down faster than HBOS shares!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Cease

    They should stop all activity in this space. Lloyds might wish them to use their own systems, so no need to outsource, just a enormous migration project (very enormous because the products will be different) followed by redundancies. Where are the economies of scale by keeping both sets of systems and staff?

    £45k on a jolly, I guess make the most of it because when the takeover/merger happens they could be out of a job. Bangalore used to be nice, but the infrastructure has not kept up with the growth and you'll spend most of your time in a car on the road...

  12. Steven Hunter
    Thumb Up

    Nothing important to add really...

    ...but when I first read the headline I thought it said "HOBOS could shift 2000 jobs to India" which made me wonder what was wrong with the domestic market for transients.

  13. Anon

    Why not...

    How about if they outsource the executives?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    @AC

    > Isn't it about time they started looking at

    >Off shoring "executives" and the "board" - which will give huge savings per job and lets face - can't be done worse judging by current problems

    It'll never happen - Indian workers know how to treat company executives properly (el Reg, last week, Graziano Transmissioni India...)

  15. Rhyd

    Mortgages

    I wonder how many of the 2000 have mortgages with HBOS that they won't be able to repay...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Balls

    We're informed that this is all basically balls and it basically amounts to a jolly with the suppliers, and trying to get the best out of existing deals, they do plenty enough for us as it is.

    And come on, the media especially the red tops have proved time and again that a sensationalist headline wins out over the actual story, so copious amounts of salt are required.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    And the difference would be????

    The Halifax used to be one of the biggest mortgage lenders in the UK and along with the size came arrogance and apathy. They were terrible to deal with so I moved from them to BOS.

    BOS used to be good - then they added the H and removed a lot of customer service. The same phonetards that made the Halifax unbearable moved under the HBOS umbrella.

    HBOS call staff as a consequence are completely and utterly useless.

    So from that point of view, they can't be any worse in India.

  18. Kobayashi Gimp

    What next

    Whilst I am disgusted at this countries strategy to outsource skilled positions. Outsourcing is simply a quick-win solution to an organisations inability to invest in its own staff. How many of these corporates promote "Employee of Choice" and "Investor in People".

    On the other-hand, I can't wait until "in-law" outsourcing becomes fashionable... I'd buy that for a dollar.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Joke, one day we will wake up.

    IT at HBOS is XP and uses windows servers 2003+ with software that is too big for MS, it is leading edge stuff and is written in house.

    Lloyds IT is running on windows NT. All subcontracted via IBM, you have to ask before you can blow your nose.

    Customers need to take your money and run, when the IT shifts across with the infrastructure you won't get any service that you are used to. Anything that has to backward migrate will be shockingly dire for those poor customers that will end up customers of whatever remains.

    Then again the crap adverts will stop. Which is a bonus.

    Brown is a running joke, his policies are, and the economy is just the last in a long line of jokes, starting with the MOD, then education, health and now the treasury.

  20. Solomon Grundy

    @Another Jolly you mean

    It's obvious you've never dealt with 3rd party manufacturing. You WANT to go to the proposed manufacturing facility so that you rest assured that you aren't getting oversold on their capabilities. If the sandal brigade just showed up at your office, told you they were the best, and you believed them - then the project tanked you are an instant fail because you didn't perform due diligence. You won't have any defense because you didn't even go look at how they really operated.

  21. The Other Steve

    @Balls

    "We're informed that this is all basically balls"

    And of course, at a time of looming mass redundancies, management always, unfailingly, tell the truth, right ?

    Good luck with that.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    considering

    the amount of handholding that is required for the current off shored work, i can't see the volume increasing significantly. i can't see any way it's cheaper for the company to offshore work aside from throwing bodies at a problem temporarily.

    from my experiences it will never get to the stage that we can hand over some requirements and get a piece of software back, at the moment we have to hand over insanely detailed tech specs or get nothing.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    currently being outsouced

    My contract with an investment bank ends tomorrow. My replacement is in India, I've spent the last four weeks handing over to him.

    God, are they in trouble!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @The Other Steve

    Oh, I completely don't trust them, redundancies related to the Lloyds takeover I expect to happen in great numbers, this however, was a different story

  25. Mr B
    Pirate

    People with an account at HBoS'

    please carry your business directly with any Indian bank. That'll teach them, stingy t0553rs !!!

    They want to cut costs, I'll save them the cost of keeping me monies.

  26. sean
    Paris Hilton

    Bollocks to this!

    If they move jobs offshore, I'll move my bank accounts and cite that as reason #1 when asked why I'm leaving.

    I know from personal experience that offshore doesn't work, I work for an ISP with an offshore support centre, and the best of the staff over there are fucking clueless. Don't ask how bad the worst are, I haven't the words for it.

    Its all very well saving a few quid, but if the UK keeps on like this India will be shipping menial jobs like call centre staff here in a generation's time.

    Aaaaaarrrrrgggghhh!!!!

    /rant

    Paris, because, well I used the word 'clueless' so that's good enough.

  27. Bryn Evans
    Joke

    Full Circle

    Just six months ago it was the repeated, incomprehensible phone calls from India

    that made us move all our savings from HBOS.

  28. Ian
    Thumb Up

    Stop being so negative!

    Why almost every IT person I know has a positive story about how outsourcing helped them! I'm sure they'll find their costs halved and the quality doubled in no time! All these nay sayers are just scared of change.

    Why, in my last company we found that a team of 15 outsourced developers with two permanently embedded British technology consultants and two full term managers in this country could easily do half the work of a four man team over here! And it would only take three to four longer (as long as we took over and finished it)

    It's a wonderful idea thats proved its worth time and time again!

    Hoorah for the bold and insightful management of HBOS, showing us once again that British Banking (the envy of /all/ foreign countries) is in safe hands.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    @AA

    "IT at HBOS is XP and uses windows servers 2003+ with software that is too big for MS, it is leading edge stuff and is written in house."

    Oh really? And when did all this happen?

    Its XP certainly. Written In House? Nope. Nope. Nope. Not a fucking hope, Do me a favour.

    Clueless bastards like every other bank, I have done software for HBOS that is so staggeringly basic and useful — but they have *had* to come to third-parties (like me) because their own in-house IT staff are so pathetically inept. This isn't going to get any better with the off-shoring.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re They think the've got problems now ?

    If you think Robert Peston is hyper ventilating, try this:

    http://blogs.ft.com/maverecon/2008/09/those-whom-the-gods-would-destroy-they-first-make-mad/

    read and enjoy :-)

  31. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    LTSB IT?

    AA "Lloyds IT is running on windows NT. All subcontracted via IBM, you have to ask before you can blow your nose."

    Ok, when I left there 2 years ago, many servers were still running NT4, many were on Windows Server 2003. There was also a rigourous change control process, which given the importance of service protection is not a suprise.

    What was your point?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    oh really

    "their own in-house IT staff are so pathetically inept"

    Do me a favour and jam an old spoon in your eye, you write a piece of software for us and you think you know everything about everyone in the company. My team hasn't used a single contractor, we have representatives of of 3rd party supplier asking us if they can nick the extra software we built around it and have told other companies that we have all necessary skills in house and we hardly ever log a support request.

    Does that sound particularly inept to you! Sure we're a large company and there'll be chaff, and they'll be the ones hiring high and mighty snotty bar stewards like you, the rest of us treat you with disdain!

    This outsourcing is highly unlikely in large numbers very quickly, number 1 because of the Lloyds situation (this trip I believe was planned before that all happened), and 2000 staff?! That's pretty much the whole IT staff! Unlikely! All those jobs might be wiped out by Lloyds anyway. Like I said previously, grab the salt shaker, it's a jolly with suppliers.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Didn't work well in 2000, it certainly won't work know

    I worked for Transco at the turn of the century when they were moving a lot of their IT offshore. It is sort of like outsourcing to EDS or some such - you lose all the highly skilled technical staff, who often have a lot of knowledge of the workings of your business and a vested interested in the success of the business and you replace them staff who may be skilled (but you have no control over that), have no idea of what your business does or how it works and couldn't care less if you go bust. The only difference is that they are (or were) cheaper, they are in a different timezone (about 5 hours ahead - e.g. they are starting work when you finish), and their English is generally pretty poor (even if they may be technically very good on the IT side).

    BTW, anyone who has ever spoken to a call centre in India may have that the staff speak reasonable English (at least when they follow the script) - however the staff in the call centre probably have a Masters in English - most the staff at Wipro/TCS/wherever have never really studied English and IMO have a very poor grasp (though they may well have CS PhDs).

    The only person who gained at Transco was the execs who got a Jolly, followed by a bonus before the effects were noticed and then left before the shit hit the fan. If HBOS weren't going bust before, they are now.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anything can be offshored

    Why not the entire management.

    IT is in a very strong position, unlike any other group if you want to get a message out there, then you can.

    HBOS is an Indian bank now, so if people want to Bank with an Indian bank that is up to them.

    If I find a company off shoring I tend to avoid doing business with them, it is just prudence, they are going to have a lot of problems, and if it is IT then you cannot be sure where your data is being held and what laws apply to it.

    Off shoring also means that you are not supporting your own economy, it is like scoring an own goal, it is not clever in the slightest.

  35. Dave Webb
    Thumb Down

    @Ian

    "All these nay sayers are just scared of change."

    I'm sure I speak for many when I say you are wrong, we are not scared of change, but the sheer number of UK jobs being lost to overseas workers. Why are we not looking after our own?

  36. RogueElement
    Joke

    I see it now

    Hapless client, desperate to complete a task before the Christmas Break, struggles with failing system and calls up support to be redirected to an exceptionally polite but unintelligible version of the English language help desk where, after much wrangling and gnashing of teeth, it becomes obvious that a technician will need to attend the site to correct the problem.

    "Wee shill bee dare on May".

  37. Ian
    Flame

    @Dave

    My comments were all sarcastic. If I try to write (or speak) seriously about outsourcing or offshoring I tend to descend into incoherent angry rage rather quickly. On an individual business level I think it sucks, on a broader social/political level I think it really, really sucks. A lot.

    Must stop typing now, blood beginning to boil......

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