Wells Fargo Opens BPO Operations In Manila

by Kobakila News

MANILA — California-based Wells Fargo and Co., a highly diversified financial services company with 70 million customers and 264,000 employees, has established Wells Fargo Philippines Solutions Inc. to handle a variety of functions, including service and back office support.

Wells Fargo’s decision to shift more jobs offshore comes worries in the Philippines over a U.S. anti-outsourcing bill introduced by New York Congressman Tim Bishop.  The proposed U.S. Call Center and Consumer Protection Act would require the U.S. Department of Labor to track firms that shift contact center jobs overseas.

In addition, firms would then be ineligible for any direct or indirect U.S. federal loans or loan gurantees for five years.  The proposal would also require contact center staff to disclose their location to U.S. consumers and would be given the option to route the service to a U.S.-based call hub.

“We welcome Wells Fargo’s launch of an in-house business support center in Manila, following the footsteps of JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc.,” said Herrera, president of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).

The Philippine labor sector is “counting on Wells Fargo’s new center to help provide gainful employment to our college-educated, fluent English-speaking professionals, many of whom remain idle,” added Herrera, former chairman of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development.

Part of the thrust of TUCP has been to recruit more members in the BPO sector. The moderate labor center now includes VOICE, a labor federation of contact center employees.

The country’s booming business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, which fully employs some 630,000 Filipinos, produced $11 billion in revenues in 2011, noted a statement from Herrera’s office.

Based on the projected incremental revenues of $2 billion, Herrera said the industry could create around 126,000 new jobs this year.

Two other banks,JP Morgan and Citigroup, have long-existing in-house back offices in Manila through JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A. Philippine Customer Care Center and Citigroup Business Process Solutions Pte. Ltd.

Herrera also noted that although Bank of America does not yet have in-house back offices here, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender is known to have outsourced some of its customer support activities to an independent BPO provider with extensive Philippine operations.

Also, he does not expect the U.S. Congress to pass the bill, as American corporations benefitting from outsourcing are strongly opposing it.

Wells Fargo is the second largest American bank in deposits, home mortgage servicing and debit cards. It has acquired rival banking giant Wachovia Corp., which had been weakened by mounting bad loans.

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