Belfast Telegraph

Bailed-out AIB could outsource 1,000 jobs abroad

By Donal O'Donavan

First Trust parent Allied Irish Banks is considering outsourcing as many as 1,000 jobs – and cannot rule out some of the work ultimately going abroad.

The main union at the Irish bank said the idea of jobs at a state-owned bank going abroad needed to be examined if the Republic's Government was serious about the jobs crisis at home.

"It seems to us that maintaining jobs in this country should be at least as big a priority as creating new jobs," a spokesman for the Irish Bank Officials' Organisation (IBOA) said.

AIB confirmed that outsourcing was being considered as part of a plan aiming to "reduce costs and increase efficiencies – outsourcing of certain functions would be considered in consultation with the IBOA and affected staff".

Under outsourcing arrangements, the bank would continue to provide customer services but depending in the function some, or even all, of the work could be done by third-party contractors.

Once the work moves outside AIB, it could end up being done anywhere, including by lower-cost operators abroad.

Staff and the union have been briefed on the review over the past week.

But it's understood the process is at an early stage.

Even so, the bank is looking at cutting up to 8% of its 12,000 remaining staff under the plan.

The jobs affected are likely to include more than 100 staff working in the bank's cheque clearing unit, which has become less important thanks to the increased used of electronic transfers.

Belfast Telegraph