Abbey National, one of the UK’s largest personal financial services companies, is spending around £5.5 million over the next two years in a new Customer Outreach Centre at its Mays Meadow site in Belfast.

The Invest Northern Ireland-backed project, which will create 149 new jobs over the next two years was announced today by Ian Pearson, NIO Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment. It will make Belfast the main centre for Abbey National’s customer outreach programme, and will double the number of people proactively contacting its customers.

The two-phase project will create a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) operation, which aims to strengthen relationships with the bank’s customers and, in particular, many customers with whom Abbey National has had limited contact recently.

Welcoming the investment Mr Pearson said: “This significant investment will create a centre of Customer Relationship Management expertise in Belfast and further develop the type of added-value service that Invest NI is keen to support.

“It offers the opportunity to build capability in this sector and strengthens Belfast’s position as a premier location for financial service companies, a
sector identified as a key target in Invest NI’s Information and Communications Technologies Strategy.

“Abbey National has a very successful track record in its existing call centre and software operations in Belfast and this new operation reflects the company’s confidence in the quality of locally available staff.”

Abbey National’s Customer Sales Director, Mark Pain, commented: “Abbey National’s new strategy, announced a few months ago, is to have a single- minded focus on UK personal financial services.

“This new Customer Outreach Centre is part of the root and branch change underway within Abbey National. We’re confident it will help us get closer to our customers and help build the foundations for the successful delivery of our new strategy – particularly getting the right people in the right place to serve customers better.”