A review of IT at financial services group Prudential could lead to hundreds of jobs being outsourced overseas.
The company’s UK IT arm, Prutech, currently employs around 500 staff, mainly in Reading and Craigforth. Staff were told last week that the company plans a major review that will look at Prutech’s infrastructure, platforms and staffing levels.
A Prudential spokesperson confirmed that among a “host of options” for UK IT services, the company was asking, “Is there a potential to offshore.”
David Fleming, national officer of the Amicus union which represents the IT staff, warned that any savings produced by offshoring IT work would only amount to a small proportion of the £150m cost savings recently announced by Prudential.
He said, “If this is the case we fear this may be the tip of the iceberg for Prudential staff in the UK. We are asking the question how committed is the Prudential to its UK staff and its customers?”
But the company denied that the review was prompted by financial considerations “This is not about cost-cutting,” the spokesperson said.
It was aimed at “looking at whether the IT function is properly aligned to the needs of the business over the next three to five years”, he said.
The overhaul would consider “what systems are in place, are they the right systems to support the business moving forward” and whether Prutech had “the right level of staff in the right places”.
In November, Prudential chief executive Mark Tucker announced moves were already under way to create a single global IT infrastructure for the company, which was expected to produce savings of up to £25m a year.