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Shell to axe 380 finance jobs in Glasgow in favour of cheaper offices overseas


By Emily Gosden, energy editor: 16 NOVEMBER 2016 • 1:38PM

Royal Dutch Shell is to axe 380 jobs in Glasgow as it shuts its only UK finance operations office in favour of cheaper locations in Poland, India, South Africa, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The oil giant’s announcement that it plans to close its Bothwell Street office in the city as part of its cost-cutting drive brings the total number of jobs shed from its UK operations over the past 18 months to more than 1,350.

Staff in the Glasgow office, who undertake back-office administrative tasks such as processing invoices and managing travel and expenses, face “involuntary severance” as Shell moves their work to other offices in its “global Shell Business Operations network”.

Shell said its other business operations centres – in Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Krakow, Chennai, Bangalore and Cape Town – were able to “handle the activities that are currently performed in Glasgow, but at a significantly lower cost”.

“For Shell to remain competitive, difficult choices continue to have to be made to improve efficiency and value for money across all of our businesses and functions,” a spokesman said.

“This decision is driven by increasing pressures on our business to reduce cost and generate cash.”

Shell is battling to rein in expenditure as it seeks to pay off the debts it amassed in the takeover of BG Group earlier this year and cope with lower oil prices.

In total it has cut about 12,500 jobs since July 2015, both in response to the price crash and due to “efficiencies” from merging operations with BG.

The 1,000 UK job losses already announced were in Shell’s ‘upstream’ exploration and production divisions.

Ben van Beurden, Shell chief executive, warned of further job losses and outsourcing earlier this year, telling the Telegraph that its “continuous improvement drive” might “result in jobs either being not required any more, or going to different parts of the globe”.

“You can never say that you are done with staff reductions,” he said at the time. 

A Shell spokesman said: “We understand that this is very difficult news for employees. During the transition period we are committed to ensuring ongoing regular employee engagement and support.”



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