AIB to outsource 250 to 300 roles in IT over the next three years
Bank says move is down to lack of available IT skills and need to achieve scale
AIB headquarters in Ballsbridge, Dublin: The bank says it is finding it increasingly difficult to recruit staff in Ireland with certain IT skills
AIB is to outsource between 250 and 300 roles in its 800-strong information technology unit over the next three years as the business is reshaped to become a digital bank.
Anne Boden, AIB’s chief operating officer, has told The Irish Times that this will be driven by the need for scale to meet its ever-growing technology requirements, a lack of available skills, and labour cost savings.
“We are not going to outsource 1,000 jobs [as reported by some media] in IT; its going to be hundreds,” she said, adding that about one-third of the roles could be outsourced.
Ms Boden said there would be no compulsory redundancies and staff would be offered the chance to transfer to the new provider. Any changes to employment arrangements would be done in conjunction with the bank’s unions.
Ms Boden said AIB, which is 99.8 per cent owned by the State, was finding it increasingly difficult to recruit staff in Ireland with certain IT skills, and those who were based here “will go and work for a Google or a Facebook rather than us”.
She said the bank also lacked “critical mass” to justify the level of technology investment that would be required to move the company into the digital age and to keep up with changes in technology. Ms Boden said labour savings of some millions of euro would be achieved under its outsourcing plan but insisted this was not a key reason for the changes.
‘Highly skilled jobs’
“Some of the jobs could go offshore but not because of labour arbitrage,” she said. “These are highly skilled jobs and most of the other banks have already done this. We are catching up in some respects.”
Other outsourcing within AIB is also taking place. Earlier this week, the bank informed staff that its learning and development unit, which is involved in training, is being outsourced to Accenture. This will involve 15 AIB staff transferring to Accenture.
Negotiations with another 30 staff affected by the decision are underway and could involve redeployment or voluntary redundancy. AIB has begun a 30-day consultation with the staff in relation to this decision.
“We are taking a measured approach to outsourcing,” Ms Boden said.
Commenting on AIB’s plans for outsourcing within its IT unit, Larry Broderick, general secretary of the Irish Bank Officials Association, said he was “reassured” that not all of the IT jobs would be outsourced.
He called on the Government to ensure that AIB gave a “strong commitment” that the outsourced roles would be retained in Ireland.
Ms Boden said the bank’s strategy was to automate services where possible. “This is our chance to reinvent the bank and offer a great experience to customers,” Ms Boden said.
AIB is preparing to launch a new tablet banking app.