News : Barclays to Close Ogletown Site; Relocate 300 Employees
Ogletown, DE, USA, Apr 6, 2017 -- Barclays will close its Ogletown customer call center later this year and will relocate all 300 employees who work there.
About 100 workers will be transferred to the bank's U.S. headquarters in Wilmington, while the remaining 200 will be split between Henderson, Nevada, and Hamilton, Ohio. The moves are expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
Barclays currently has about 1,500 workers in Delaware between the Ogletown center and its Wilmington offices.
Workers at the Ogletown call center, at 700 Prides Crossing, handle collections, fraud operations and administrative support for Barclaycard U.S., the bank's United States credit card business. The administrative workers will be moved to Wilmington while other units will be transferred to either Nevada or Ohio. A decision has not yet been made about how the other operations will be divided, said Craig Peters, head of operations for Barclaycard U.S.
Barclays has opened new, larger U.S. customer call centers over the past few years. In addition to the Nevada and Ohio locations, the bank launched a new call center in Wilton, Maine, in 2015. Those locations offer geographic diversity to assist customers across all time zones, along with the capacity to handle more workers as they expand.
"We realized our Newark operation center didn't fit with our long-term strategy," Peters told The News Journal. "As we looked to diversify geographically, those other markets were in a good spot to build out a scalable facility. We want a scalable facility rather than just a few sets of departments."
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The relocations will occur in phases over the next eight months. Barclays leases space in the call center so it will officially vacate when the lease is up at the end December.
Barclays' Wilmington headquarters can handle the additional workers, and the bank will not be looking for new space in Wilmington once the Ogletown employees are transferred, according to Peters.
Peters said Barclays will offer relocation assistance to any worker who accepts a transfer. If an employee doesn't want to relocate, the bank will provide a transition package that will include severance and external and internal job fair invitations, along with training seminars on résumé writing and interview skills.
"We really do want to handle this very thoughtfully for our colleagues," Peters said. "We are certainly going to encourage them to apply for open roles in Wilmington."
Peters declined to disclose the average wage for workers at the Ogletown call center. He said salaries vary because the call center employs a variety of skill sets at multiple levels.
Rich Heffron, president of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, said Delaware needs to find more ways to compete with other states for jobs.
"I don't know if building a bigger call center here was in the cards, but if it wasn't, we need to find out why," he said.
U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said he was "disappointed" to learn Barclays is closing the plant.
"My hope is that others in the industry will try to hire them for their own operations in the region," he said. "Barclaycard has been a good corporate partner on a number of initiatives in Delaware, and I hope that they offer these employees good severance and relocation offers.
Barclaycard opened the Ogletown center in April 2009, with the promise of creating 300 to 500 jobs within five years. At the time, Barclaycard executives praised the facility as "state-of-the-art."
"The new center will help us to better serve our cardholders and our card partners," said Lloyd Wirshba, Barclays' chief executive officer when the center opened.
Within a month of the facility's opening, Barclaycard hosted a job fair in Delaware to attract talent for the call center. Then-Gov. Jack Markell said at that time Barclays' commitment to Delaware was "a welcomed bit of good news in this tough economy."
"My administration remains focused on creating an economic climate where Barclaycard and other companies across a range of industries can thrive," Markell said when the call center was announced.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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