Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco said Wednesday that it will create 1,000 jobs at a new customer services centre for its banking division in Newcastle, northeastern England.
“Tesco Bank is creating 1,000 new jobs in Newcastle following a decision to establish a customer service centre in the city,” Tesco said in a statement.
The first 500 posts will be created by the end of 2010.
The government’s Business Secretary, Peter Mandelson, applauded the announcement.
“I welcome this decision and I am proud of the government support that has helped make it happen,” Mandelson said in the statement.
“The jobs created by this investment will be invaluable to the north east and to the wider UK economy.”
The new centre at the Quorum Business Park in Newcastle will handle sales and services for Tesco Bank’s home and motor insurance customers.
The banking division recently created 800 new jobs at a separate facility in Glasgow, as well as 200 additional positions in Edinburgh.
Tesco Bank, which provides credit cards, insurance policies, small loans and savings accounts, has almost six million customers in Britain.
Tesco, the third largest supermarket in the world, is hoping to attract more customers away from Britain’s traditional banking sector amid widespread public anger over the global financial crisis and subsequent recession.
The group bought Royal Bank of Scotland’s 50-percent share in their former joint venture, Tesco Personal Finance, for 950 million pounds (1.4 billion
dollars) last year.
Earlier this month, the supermarket chain relaunched the financial services division as Tesco Bank.