Nationwide has announced plans to transfer clerical jobs to India, which will result in a reduction in the number of temporary and contract workers needed here in Swindon.

The building society, which has its HQ in Pipers Way and is one of the town’s biggest employers, has said it is changing the way its back office operations are run in a bid to improve customer service.

As a result, jobs will move to India where a new processing centre will be created, while the need for temporary and contract workers in Swindon’s back offices will be reduced.

Richard Wainer, head of policy and public affairs at Nationwide, was keen to point out that almost 50 permanent jobs were being created for Swindon.

He said: ”We have found a partner organisation in India to create a new processing centre.

“We have started the transition of this work, which we expect to be complete by the end of October. This will reduce our requirement for temporary and contract workers across different locations in the UK – but these are not call centre or other customer-facing roles and this will not lead to a reduction in permanent positions in Swindon.

“I would also add that we are currently advertising permanent Swindon vacancies on our website.

“We remain fully committed to Swindon as Nationwide’s headquarters and continuing to provide the highest level of service to our members.”

The advertised jobs include a variety of roles across the business including marketing, finance, human resources and legal.

A spokesman for the company said they were unable to give a figure on the number of employees affected.

She said: “This is by its nature a workforce which ebbs and flows depending on what is happening across the business, and not just in one area.

“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.”

One reader, of Park North, contacted the Adver after his friend, a 20-year-old temporary clerical worker at Nationwide, heard about the plans. He said: “It has been going on for quite a long time and my friend has been told several times she might be going soon.”

Robert Buckland, Swindon South MP, said he would be arranging a meeting with Nationwide to discuss the situation.

“I realise that any job losses will be a significant loss for the town and I will do all I can to lessen the impact,” he said.