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Pru staff vote for industrial action over offshore annuities move

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Staff at Prudential have backed industrial action over plans to move annuity-related roles to India.

Members of the Unite union based in Reading voted 97 per cent in favour of industrial over the offshoring of 81 roles to Mumbai.

The plan to offshore roles from Reading to Mumbai, known internally as Project Jupiter, relates to servicing annuities, bereavement, and tax, power of attorney and bankruptcy enquiries.

Employees have voted “not to co-operate or undertake any work related to Project Jupiter”, including answering emails and telephone queries and training related to transferring annuities responsibilities.

The action will come into effect from 31 August.

Unite regional officer Ian Methven says: “Unite members have been left with no choice but to take action in order to protect their jobs. The union has challenged the alleged cost savings and the assumptions that are behind the transfer of 81 jobs to India.

“Unite does not accept that you can only improve efficiencies by moving work to Mumbai and it is impossible to see how losing over 500 years of collective knowledge and experience in Reading won’t have an adverse impact on customer/client relations.”

The union says Pru is hoping to generate £2m in cost savings by moving the roles to India.

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Comments

There are 10 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. And what action can (or should) intermediaries and clients take?

    All companies know (or should know) by now how much off shore call centers (outside Europe or the US) are absolutely hated. In my own case – all things being equal – I will always avoid the firm that has one.

    Yet again this shows the Pru’s complete disregard for customer service and satisfaction. I hope their business suffers accordingly. No wonder their head banana wants to concentrate the business more outside Europe.

    • Harry, based on previous posts I thought that you refused to use anything other than an adviser owned platform, and had nothing to do with life companies ever???? Many of the staff in these operational areas are as well qualified as advisers and paraplanners these days, but generally lack the entrepreneurial spirit, their pay is way below what I see most advisers earning and pretty derisory for the level of experience, and that doesn’t include the ones on zero hours and short term contracts.

  2. I can’t imagine the stress of a bereavement enquiry, let alone being put through to a script reading call centre in India! That’s entirely the kind of sensitive enquiry that requires an on-shore team.

  3. And so it goes on…..

    It seems financial services companies are still being squeezed till the pips squeak !

    I am not saying this is attributed to one thing in isolation, but in the last 4/5 years I have seen a marked improvement in business levels and income coming in to my company, however money going out is double, and still increasing !

    Now we have a situation, that service levels are falling, mistakes are being made, cuts redundancy and closure is rife, future investment is not there, and all this reflects bad on our already ill received industry !

    Make no mistake we are going to see regulatory increases for the next 4/5 years (maybe even longer).

    My solution….. I have reduced business levels down, to under a £100k, so I pay the minimum FCA fee, all but stopped pension biz to reduce my FSCS levies (pension/investment split was around 74%/26% now this has been reversed) and I work a 3 day week, and only visit clients 4/5 days a month to save on traveling expense.

    And to top it all, my Cap Ad is just sloshing about doing sod all !

    Go figure that one !

    • Cap ad doesn’t slosh about if you are not incorporated. For 25 years I was unincorporated. My cap ad was several orders of magnitude large that was required. It was all invested working for me.

  4. I hope Pru have factored-in the level of compensation which will be paid to satisfy complaints. It’s a growing part of our admin.

  5. A hoped for saving of £2m seems small and not worth the risks for what looks like a major change. Further, one fears that some/all of the saving (whether or not it will be converted to an actual saving) will go in extra top management pay.

  6. Christopher Petrie 24th August 2016 at 11:45 pm

    20k Cap-ad is a tiny amount! Not worth even mentioning.

    Try opening up a small retail business…you’ll need 50k of stock before you even open.

  7. Quite, but akin to 20k worth of stock you cant sell, you cant use, it just sits there gathering dust !

    Great, perfect,fine and dandy, but personally it would be better doing something useful with it

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