The head of Royal Bank of Canada today apologized to employees affected by the bank’s decision to outsource their jobs and promised the workers they would be offered comparable positions within RBC.

The public apology of Gord Nixon, CEO of RBC, appeared on the company’s Web site days after Canada’s largest bank was mired in controversy for hiring outsourcing company iGate Corp. to replace 45 IT workers. The apology will also appear in Canadian newspapers across the country on Friday.

(Gord Nixon, president and CEO of RBC)

“First, I want to apologize to employees affected by this outsourcing agreement as we should have been more sensitive and helpful to them,” Nixon said. “All will be offered comparable opportunities within the bank.”

He also said RBC was reviewing its supplier agreements and policies and gave his assurance to depositors that all of the bank’s call centres “are located in Canada and will remain in Canada.”


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Nixon also revealed plans for a job training program.

“…we are preparing a new initiative aimed at helping young people gain an important first work experience in our company, which we will announce in the weeks ahead,” he said.

Earlier in the week, the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) announced it was investigating iGate over reports that it hired temporary foreign workers (TFW) for RBC which let go 45 of its IT employees.

When outrage among RBC customers and other Canadians broke out over the Internet, RBC officials distanced the bank from the issue by stressing that iGate was the entity doing the hiring and not the bank.

In his apology on Thursday, Nixon maintained that RBC did not break any laws but acknowledged that more is expected of the bank by the public.

“While we are compliant with the regulations, the debate has been about something else,” he said. “The question for many people is not about doing only what the rules require – it’s about doing what employees, clients, shareholders and Canadians expect of RBC.”


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