Lloyds bows to consumer pressure over call centres

05 March 2007
Lloyds Bank has finally closed down its Indian call centres after over 400,000 customers signed a petition against the outsourced customer service operation.

The bank took its 'overflow' call operations to India in 2004 but found it, according to its Lloyds TSB Group Union, "a costly failure".

Official bank spokespeople stressed that the services of its offshore phone operators were no longer needed thanks to improved automated telephone software, including interactive voice recognition, denying that the customer petition had spurred the move.

"There are so few calls going through now they can be comfortably handled in the UK," Lloyds spokeswoman Mary Walsh told Reuters.

But a survey of bank staff showed that the majority had been on the receiving end of complaints about the Indian customer service operation on a daily basis.

Customer calls will now be routed directly to branches, or to one of the bank's ten UK-based call centres.

Being able to call branches directly again will relieve many customers.

Direct calls to local branches will be possible from March for a selected 350 branches across the UK, and the change will roll out across all of Lloyds' 2,000 UK-wide branches from April.

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