16/08/2006

450 jobs saved in Belfast

Around 450 jobs at the Prudential call centre in Belfast have been saved.

The Capita Group have today revealed that they are to take on the insurance firm's call centre in Clarendon Dock and its workforce, who will transfer under their current terms and conditions.

Capita will now deliver a range of life and pension sales as well as administration of all of Prudential's business.

In April, Prudential announced that its Belfast operation was to close as part of a £40 million cost-cutting exercise, and would be transferring its operations to three centres in Stirling, Derby and Mumbai in India.

The Belfast office was due to close in 2007 and workers had threatened to take strike action in order to protect their jobs.

The new agreement will further strengthen Capita’s presence in Belfast where it already provides services for the BBC and the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

Paul Pindar, Chief Executive of Capita said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to further support Prudential by playing a key role in the development and success of its UK Life & Pensions business. The contract significantly expands our Life & Pensions business and reinforces our position as a leader in delivering outsourced solutions in this market. We welcome all the Prudential staff who will transfer with the contract to Capita and we are excited about the opportunities to continue expanding our business in Belfast.”

Nick Prettejohn, Chief Executive of Prudential UK, said: “This has been a very difficult time for all our staff in Belfast but throughout this period, they have continued to provide an excellent service to our customers. This outsourcing agreement helps provide them with continued employment and enables us to maintain the highest standards of customer service while delivering the efficiencies and cost savings we announced earlier in the year. We are delighted to have selected Capita as our outsourcing partner and look forward to working with them.”

Prudential UK has had an administrative operation in Belfast since 1987 and the current site at Beacon House, Clarendon Dock, was opened in 1999.

The Belfast operation handles a range of services including death claims, matured and surrendered policies and general UK customer support. It also provides a direct-to customer telephone sales operation.

(EF)


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