The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 19 January 2006

Clydesdale Bank announces new

operator at Kilmarnock call centre

CLYDESDALE Bank’s parent company National Australia Group has appointed Airdrie-based beCogent to run its Kilmarnock customer call centre, safeguarding the future of 450 local jobs.

BeCogent has grown into one of the UK’s leading providers of outsourced contact centre services.

Under the 5-year contract, which runs from March, beCogent will operate National Australia Group’s contact centre in Kilmarnock, providing both telephone and Internet banking support for Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank customers.

beCogent’s managing director Charles Breslin told Ayrshire Business News: "This is a fantastic opportunity for beCogent, and we are absolutely delighted to have won this major contract with National Australia Group. Having been chosen after a comprehensive selection process is a great endorsement of the skills, quality and capability beCogent has to offer. This contract will make a major contribution to our growth in the next five years and will provide at least another 450 jobs in the beCogent group."

He continued: "beCogent is an increasingly strong contender in the provision of outsourced contact centre services to the UK financial services sector.

"beCogent’s strong focus on innovation, flexibility and creativity proved key factors in winning this competitive outsourcing contract. The company will implement its distinctive blended live agent and automated solution to give the customer more choice and improved service, whilst delivering significant efficiency savings for National Australia Group over the course of the contract."

This announcement follows National Australia Group’s recent decision to invest £5 million to upgrade the telephony infrastructure at its Kilmarnock site, and confirms the group’s commitment to Ayrshire and to outsourcing contact centres within the UK.

National Australia Group’s head of contact centres Kevin Page said: "Investing in the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank brands and in electronic and direct channels such as telephone and Internet banking are key aspects of our UK growth programme.

"We recently undertook a review of our overall strategy for call centres and other channels such as Internet banking, which resulted in an overwhelming commitment to invest further in these areas of the business," he continued.

"After an in-depth re-tender process, we chose beCogent as our outsourced contact centre services provider for Kilmarnock because its innovation, flexibility and creativity best matched our own business strategy going forward. We look forward to working closely with beCogent to ensure that our customers receive an excellent service."

Clydesdale Bank was established in 1838 in Glasgow and has a proud history of innovation and support for Scottish industry and communities.

With 2,800 staff and 230 branches, Clydesdale is one of Scotland’s largest banks and is currently expanding its operations into the South of England with its innovative Financial Solutions Centres, offering customers a highly integrated business and private banking service.

Since the launch of beCogent in 1999, the company has grown quickly and now has over 1,300 employees and a turnover of in excess of £20 million.

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