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HSBC Bank Canada Outsourcing Finance Jobs To India: Documents

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Royal Bank of Canada isn't the only financial institution where employees are busy training their foreign replacements.

Sources close to HSBC Bank Canada told The Huffington Post Canada that the country's seventh-largest bank is preparing to send as many as 23 finance jobs to India as part of an "operational efficiency" program.

Internal documents obtained by The Huffington Post Canada confirm that at least two employees from the bank's Global Resource Centre (GRC) in Gurgaon, India are currently in Vancouver learning their jobs from the people they're replacing, one of them a 20-year veteran, but a source said as many as 23 jobs could be transitioned abroad.

The jobs in question largely involve entering data when clients transfer money between different HSBC branches in Vancouver. Those responsibilities used to be handled in the city but will now be transitioned to the GRC in India.

The source, who asked not to be identified because they still work for the bank, added that employees have to train their replacements in their own jobs in order to get their severance from the company.

In a written statement, HSBC spokeswoman Sharon Wilks would not confirm whether employees had to train their replacements as a condition of getting their severance, but she did say that the bank has employees in their offices who are being trained as part of what she called a "global initiative."

"As a global company with around 6,600 offices in 81 countries and territories, we are globally managed and work together across borders to make our operations as efficient as possible," she said in an e-mail.

"That includes taking advantage of expertise available in other parts of the HSBC Group."

Wilks did not confirm how many jobs would be sent abroad, but she said that two years ago, HSBC's global CEO announced a strategy to "make our operations globally more efficient and fit for purpose."

She said that all HSBC businesses around the world, including Canada, would be "part of delivering on this strategy."

The situation bears some similarity to that which engulfed Royal Bank of Canada when dozens of IT workers learned that their jobs would be terminated at the end of April, to be replaced by employees with Indian company iGATE Corp., which was contracted to provide IT services, CBC News first reported.

The key difference here is that the jobs are being taken by existing HSBC employees, and they're not coming to Canada as part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Some iGATE employees came to Canada under the federal Temporary Foreign Workers Program to learn the RBC jobs before taking them back home.

RBC later apologized for the controversy and announced new restrictions on its use of foreign workers.

HSBC Bank Canada, which is headquartered in Vancouver, describes itself as the leading international bank in Canada with $81 billion in assets. As of 2011, the bank had 5,646 permanent employees in Canada.

Are you concerned about your company outsourcing Canadian jobs? Contact our business editor, Daniel Tencer, at daniel.tencer@huffingtonpost.com

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