ANZ Bank customers in Australia may need a grasp of Kiwi vowels and lingo if they want to ring a call centre.
The bank is transferring 70 jobs from Australia to a call centre in Wellington, saying the New Zealand capital is suited because of its highly trained English-speaking staff, good infrastructure and a friendly time zone.
They will join 175 staff already based in Wellington, helping Australian customers wanting to know information like the location of an Aussie branch, to advise a change of address or reset internet banking passwords.
The bank says it shouldn’t need any redundancies in Australia, hoping it will be managed through natural attrition.
A bank spokesman says Australia will remain the main location for calls from Australian customers and it has no plans to expand its New Zealand operation, but it will continue to look at its services.
First Union general secretary Robert Reid says the announcement is ironic given that 23 operational processing jobs in Auckland were moved to Bangalore in India in February.
“We seem to have a bit of a case of musical call centre chairs,” he told NZ Newswire.
“It appears to us there appears to be this continual search to get work done in the cheapest way possible.”
Mr Reid said in some previous cases where call centre jobs had moved to New Zealand the pay rates were up to $10 per hour worse in New Zealand.
“The last thing we want is for New Zealand to be to Australia like Mexico is to the United States, but this seems to be happening more and more with a variety of companies.”