Westpac has announced it will invest $43million a year to bring back 1,000 jobs to Australia from overseas and boost customer response times.
The decision follows a surge in demand for customer assistance at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which created challenging conditions for call centres.
Chief executive Peter King said the response times were too slow and the boost in employment is a way to tackle the ‘unprecedented demand’.
‘The announcement is a further step in transforming our business and mortgage operations, helping to support local employment, reducing the risk of offshore disruption, and accelerating our ability to simplify processes through digitisation,’ Mr King said.
Mr King said the bank would be returning all ‘dedicated voice roles’ to Australia to enhance the capacity of existing call centres.
‘This will mean when a customer calls us, they will be answered by someone in Australia,’ he said.
‘Bringing jobs back to Australia has been made possible with the changing work patterns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the upgrade to our technology infrastructure over recent years,’ he said.
‘Together these have enabled our teams to operate effectively at home or in other locations when needed.’
The new jobs are part of a more distributed workforce structure that will be implemented across Australia and will take 12 months.
‘Allowing time to work through existing obligations with our overseas partners and to develop the best service model for the new jobs here in Australia,’ Mr King said.
The 1,000 new roles will be in call centres and will also provide processing and operational assistance to functions like home lending and consumer finance.
It is expected to increase company costs by around $45million per annum by the end of 2021.