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HBOS could shift 2,000 IT jobs to India

Hyderabad Bangalore or Sangli

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Halifax Bank of Scotland is considering moving as many as 2,000 backoffice and IT jobs to India.

Executives flew out to Bangalore this week to meet possible offshoring partners.

According to papers seen by the Mirror, offshore delivery of IT functions is a central part of its cost-cutting plans. The trip by 11 execs cost £45,000.

The bank is still hoping a proposed takeover by Lloyds TSB will go ahead - HBOS shares rose more than 14 per cent today on rumours that the US government's Wall St bailout deal is now back on.

The bank's shares are still down some 80 per cent on the year - the bank got hammered in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. And the takeover is by no means a done deal - Lothian and Borders Police are investigating allegations that talks started before the Stock Exchange was informed.

HBOS sent us the following statement:

On a preliminary basis, we have been exploring for some time whether we should extend our use of overseas contracts in the area of software development and applications. Any extension to our current offshoring arrangements will only take place after full consultation with our union partners, Accord and Unite.

No decisions have been taken. Separately, all HBOS customer service centres are based here in the UK and we have no plans to change that at all. Our work in this area is completely unconnected to the proposed acquisition by Lloyds TSB Group.

Should the merger go through then even more jobs are likely to be lost. ®

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