SOUTH Swindon MP Robert Buckland says he feels reassured that the town remains a priority for Nationwide, despite the company announcing it is to transfer jobs to India.

Mr Buckland met with the company, one of the town’s biggest employers, on Tuesday following an announcement that some clerical jobs will be transferred to India, resulting in a reduction in the number of temporary and contract workers in Swindon.

The building society, which has its HQ in Pipers Way, has said it is changing the way its back office operations are run in a bid to improve customer service.

Mr Buckland said: “The meeting with Nationwide went well – I asked about the nature of the job losses and they told me it would be spread across the various sites that Nationwide has and it wouldn’t just be in Swindon. I asked about the current 50 vacancies that are being advertised and was told that some of those people losing their jobs could apply for these new jobs.

“They also said that the nature of the agency work is quite seasonal, and they are about to start doing a big push on selling ISA’s because at certain times of the year they sell certain products, and it is coming up to ISA season so there will be opportunities there as well.

“I got a very strong assurance from Nationwide that they are very committed to Swindon, they see Swindon as the heart of their operation and they want to do all they can to support the Swindon base.

“I got the feeling they are looking at further changes in the near future but I think these will be potentially good for Swindon.

“It is always concerning to hear about job losses but the message I got from Nationwide was a very clear committment to our town which is good.

“I will continue to work with them to ensure future opportunities.”

A spokesman for Nationwide said a partner organisation had been found in India to create a new processing centre and the transition of this work has been started and is expected to be complete by the end of October.

He added: “At the moment, Nationwide is actively recruiting and has around 50 vacancies in Swindon alone and we are in the process of converting around 30 temporary workers into permanent employees. There are medium term plans to move a number of skilled jobs from other locations in the UK to Swindon.”