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July 2, 2007
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – When the phone rings and the caller speaks with a heavy foreign accent even though he or she works for an American bank, get used to it.
Bank of America and Wachovia are among banking industry leaders that are embracing the growing trend of companies offshoring “back-office” jobs. And they are doing so in a big way, according to the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Rothacker.
“Charlotte’s big banks are diving deeper into offshoring,”is how he led off his story in Sunday’s newspaper.
Bottom line as to why? Rothacker notes that a recent study found employees in the U.S. and Europe cost $150,000 a year in salary, benefits and other costs such as real estate.
The same jobs can be done in India or somewhere else for $50,000.
The two Charlotte giants aren’t alone. BB&T is jumping in. And the trend to offshore is industry wide, according to a study by consulting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.
While banks save money on overhead, Rothacker notes there are some concerns.
For example: Do you want your sensitive financial information stored in a data center in Mumbai or Shanghai or Manila?
A concern he didn’t mention: What about being able to understand the person you are talking to about your account?
Offshoring has made headlines recently at IBM, Lenovo, Nortel and other companies that are shipping jobs overseas by the thousands.
Meanwhile, as a recent study in Congress found, more and more foreign-owned companies are seeking H-1B foreign workers visas so they can bring more workers to the good old USA to replace U.S. workers.
These are wacky times we live in. They are going to get wackier.
Want to ruin your day?
Ask yourself: Can my job be offshored?
Hey, it’s already happening in the media business. Reuters reporters all over the world “cover” stories out of the U.S. by phone, teleconference, Webcasts and press releases.