23 May 2007

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HSBC expands global call centre in Malta

HSBC has announced a further investment of 5.5 million euros that will go towards expansion plans for its Global Call Centre in Swatar. The Call Centre will employ an additional 260 full time equivalent call agents, managerial and support staff by the end of 2007. They will handle increased incoming calls from customers of HSBC UK.
The first call agents will be employed by end of July 2007 and a full recruitment programme will start immediately. Together with the existing workforce, HSBC aims to have 500 full time equivalent employees in the Call Centre by the year end. This new wave of recruits at the Call Centre will mean HSBC will be the largest employer in Malta, in the financial services sector.
The existing premises in Swatar will have an additional floor constructed on its existing three floors above road level. The ground floor will also be refurbished. The bright and airy offices of the Call Centre host state of the art technology including telephony and video conferencing facilities. With this expansion, the Call Centre will have the potential to house over 320 seats. The additional investment will go towards the installation of new IT equipment and training, while staff costs will go up by circa 4 million euros per annum to 8 million euros.
The HSBC Call Centre in Malta, in operation since October 2006, saw an initial investment of 7 million euros and the investment of this second phase is in the region of 5.5 million euros, which will make a total investment of circa 12.5 million euros. The Centre handles in-bound calls from HSBC’s UK customers, to complement its other Global Call Centres in Asia and the UK, and operates as a branch of UK based HSBC Bank.
Currently, the total number of calls received per hour, including Saturday and Sunday averages 330 and is increasing daily. The daily rate of calls is now up to 8,400. Since the Call Centre’s first day of operation, there has been an escalation of weekly calls from 5,500 to over 42,000.
Shaun Wallis, CEO, HSBC Malta said, “This has been a very positive experience for HSBC in comparable global terms of Customer experience and satisfaction, efficiency and cost effectiveness.”
“Employees have shown a strong work ethic, and the willingness to learn and develop, said Mr Wallis. “We are now in the second phase of our project. We are also looking at transport options to make it easier for interested Gozitans to work with us in the Swatar Call Centre.”
Austin Gatt, Minister for Investment, Industry and Information Technology, said: “HSBC has been in Malta for several years now. But its new investment in the Global Call Centre operation based here in Malta proves it sees in our country a fresh opportunity; in this government a strong sense of commitment and partnership; in its people a serious commitment to high quality and hard work.
“HSBC’s Malta expansion is another manifestation of the change that our economy is undergoing. We have been successful in reading the economic signs of the times. We will pursue in this course of action with the aim of creating even more and better jobs for our people. This is the motivation of our efforts. To create hundreds of new jobs every month: to balance right here in Malta our combined aspirations of living the great quality of the Mediterranean family life, and still reach our fulfilment in world class jobs in a world class economy.”
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said that the decision by HSBC to invest further and extend its existing Call Centre operations, just a few months after it was set up, is a testimonial that Malta is a good place for business and beneficial to invest in. ‘This gives proof that Malta has a successful role to play in a new globalised economy,’ said the Prime Minister. ‘We have an environment that is conducive to business, the necessary infrastructure and excellent human resources. As an EU member, Malta has gained more recognition internationally and this has served to enhance our political, social and economic stature.’

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