THE fraud squad is coming – with the friendly voices of 200 Wearsiders tasked with helping those in their hour of need.
Barclays, in Doxford International Business Park, is to create the new posts when it launches a centre of excellence for fraud detection, the first of its kind in the UK.
Managers, team leaders and frontline call centre workers will handle calls from the bank’s customers across the world, whose accounts or cards have suffered potential fraud.
The firm is looking to its existing staff and newcomers to fill the roles, as well as those to be left vacant as people move round the business.
Based in a refurbished office, the 200 extra posts will join 100 colleagues who joined in February after Barclays began to roll out the use of its video banking service, which allows customers to speak face-to-face with advisors via their computers, smartphones and tablets, around the clock.
Christine Allenson, Barclays’ Sunderland site president, said: “We’re looking for people that have got life experience, who will be good with potential fraud victims, who can talk to them at an emotional and difficult time for our customers and understand what they are going through.
Sunderland has excelled, we have a lot of talent and the reason we have been successful in winning this business is because of the excellent people we have.Barclays’ Sunderland site president Christine Allenson
“I think the North East is fantastic for that.
“Sunderland has excelled, we have a lot of talent and the reason we have been successful in winning this business is because of the excellent people we have.”
The Doxford workforce has welcomed the news of extra job security at the base, which was set up in 1998 and took its first call on January 1, 1999.
It has scooped the North East Call Centre title three times.
Mrs Allenson added: “They are really excited and this is a strategic site for Barclays.
“It’s creating more career opportunities for our staff and a great way to develop their roles and go further.”
The extra jobs have been welcomed by Sunderland City Council, which has supported the company’s Wearside efforts as it has developed the site, backed its recruitment efforts and its retention in the city.
Chief executive Dave Smith, said: “There are some 14,000 call centre posts in Sunderland and Barclays is a major employer, and there are now occupations offered by a range of services.
“Barclays is a shining success story for Sunderland and I am delighted that the bank has chosen the city as the base for its new fraud detection centre of excellence.”
Among the workers to be welcomed is Joe Percy, 33, from Hylton Castle, who is a team leader in retail telephony and a former physical trainer with the Royal Engineers.
Joe, who sits on a panel which helps interviews potential staff, said: “We’ve been talking about it and we think it’s great. There’s a real buzz going around.”
Applicants do not need to have previous contact centre or financial services experience, because training will be provided to those who have the right values for the Barclays business.
Anyone interested can contact CCP on 2619133 or visit backandworking.com.