Botswana Bankers Employees Union (BOBEU) has criticized a recent decision by Barclays bank to relocate its call centre to South Africa.
The union has expressed fears that the bank may relocate some other departments, which could result in more employees losing their jobs.
Tshepo Lekote, Deputy Secretary of BOBEU told this publication that the union is aware that Barclay bank will be relocating its call centre to South Africa in due course. He explained that sometime late last year they met with bank management and discussed issue at length.
“As the union we don’t agree with this decision because management has failed to give us any convincing reasons.
To us this simply means that Barclays is exporting jobs to South Africa,” he said.
He revealed that the bank has since promised that no employees will lose their jobs because of the relocation as those who worked in the call center will be absorbed into other departments. However, The Telegraph is informed that only a few employees have been absorbed into other departments while others are facing an uncertain future.
“The bank management even begged us not to disclose this matter and they don’t want their clients to know that they will in future be assisted by South African staff when they want to inquire about their bank accounts. They said they don’t want to scare their clients,” said BOBEU.
The union further revealed that Barclays will soon relocate yet another branch to South Africa.
When asked about the planned relocation, Barclay’s spokesperson Spencer Moreri said centralization of the contact centre will ultimately give customers 24 hour access and other self-service options.
“We can confirm that we are consolidating our self-operated Contact Centre operations into our South Africa Shared Services centre as part of our Africa integration strategy. Through our Shared Services facility in South Africa, we aim to leverage on the state-of-the art technology and infrastructure to enhance the customer service experience,” said Moreri.
He said some of countries have already embarked on this initiative, adding that the move is part of the Africa strategy which will see Barclays Africa operations relocating their contact centre operations to the regional hub in Johannesburg.
“Impacted employees will be absorbed into other parts of the business. We remain committed to continue growing our Botswana business and offering our customers access to cutting edge financial solutions. We will continue investing in our infrastructure as well as the deployment of innovative products and systems to improve the way we reach and serve our customers,” said Moreri.
He further said Barclays continues to engage all its stakeholders on any developments that it undertakes, as they did with regards to consolidation to the regional hub.
“The contact centre has been established since 2006 and we are confident that this development provides maximum benefits to our valued customers. Barclays remains committed to being an employer of choice in the market,” he said.