Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Capital One cuts 750 UK jobs at Nottingham Call Centre

Not the best news from the Daily Telegraph and Finextra, but perhaps one of the first signs of the credit crunch hitting the call centres of UK financial services firms.

I'd wondered in January this year if trends the call centre job market were a warning sign that things were getting much tougher ("Are Onshore call centre jobs always good news?"). The post was triggered by news of increased hiring for onshore jobs in debt management call centres. Come the credit crunch, these firms look like some of the few potential winners.

I was also interested, though, by the Telegraph's comment that Capital One was suffering from increased competition and had reported a 72pc fall in net profit in the three months to December, down from $390.7m a year earlier to $226.6m. In addition, the bank took a $1.9bn charge for loan losses.

Low margins and lots of competition is not a good place to be in and is one of the few areas where offshoring might make sense (other than getting out of the market altogether). I've talked about this before ("
Is cost a contact centre issue or a symptom?"), but offshoring doesn't fix a broken business model.

My suspicion is that the credit crunch will mark a big decision for the remaining monoline credit card companies. They need to work out whether they fight for value (like Amex) and can afford a call centre or, if they targeted lower margin business, if they have to think about cost and start looking at self service to control costs.


Anonymous said...

I found an informative post here thanks! As the world suffers from global financial crisis the Business Process Outsourcing grows rapidly. If the Capital One have to expand their services, they don't think to settle first the problem to some of their consumers.

Alex said...

Glad to hear the blog was useful. It is a real problem that so many financial services companies have focused on growth without thinking through how that might effect customer service.