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Abbey Denies Reports It's Closing Indian Call Center

The bank says it isn't bringing 1,000 call center jobs back to Britain from a center in Bangalore.
Abbey National on Thursday denied reports that the U.K. bank is closing its call center in India due to customer complaints about poor service. "That is absolutely not the case," says a spokesman for the bank.

On Wednesday, several major U.K. news organizations, including the Evening Standard and the Glasgow Evening Times, reported that Abbey was bringing 1,000 call center jobs back to Britain from a center in the Indian city of Bangalore. The jobs were originally moved to India in 2003. Citing unidentified sources, the Evening Standard said Abbey customers were frequently complaining about the Indian workers' lack of fluency in English, prompting a decision by the bank to repatriate the operation.

"We don't know where that information came from but it is incorrect, as in, wrong," says the Abbey spokesman, adding: "We are not making any change to our operations." The outsourcing controversy in the U.K. is reaching levels similar to that in the United States, as more British companies move back-office and IT jobs to low wage regions like Asia and Eastern Europe.