Coventry says no to overseas admin operation

Ramesh Sharma

June 1, 2004

The announcement comes after Cheltenham & Gloucester (C&G) revealed it will close a mortgage administration and customer service centre in Warwick moving it overseas in an apparent cost-cutting measure. The move, expected at the end of 2006, will affect around 330 jobs. Mike Mitchell, mortgage and customer services director at C&G, said the current environment was “fiercely competitive” and it was vital the lender found ways of running “effectively and competitively”.

However, the Coventry said it has no intention of following suit. Martin Ritchley, chief executive of the Coventry, said: “We’ve made significant investment in our customer service centre in Coventry over the last few years, aimed at providing our customers with first-class service when they contact us.”

He added: “Our customer service team now totals nearly 250 people who deal with over one million telephone calls each year. Transferring operations such as this to India may be an appropriate option for some of our competitors but we feel this is not right for us or our customers.”

“As a committed building society we believe it’s sound commercial sense, as well as being our responsibility to build our operations within the communities which have already brought us considerable success,” he concluded.

Rod Murdison, proprietor of Murdison & Browning, said: “The phrase ‘cost-benefit analysis’ doesn’t exist for nothing. With people currently getting endless sales calls, predominantly from India, yes there may be a cost-saving but will people’s perception of the company and desire to interact with them increase or decrease?

“The negative aspects are nowhere near as high as when dealing with companies that have multi-layered automated answering services and there are plenty of them around. Maybe brokers just aren’t important enough.”

Sign up to our daily email