Professional body claims Scottish banks are abusing UK immigration loophole
by Mark Johnstone
August 10 2009
A professional body is criticising Scottish banks for abusing intra-company transfers to replace British contractors with foreign staff.
Major banks, including HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland, are misusing these types of UK work permits to transfer staff already working for the banks abroad, according to the Professional Contractors Group (PCG). The group represents freelancers and contractors, who it says are losing out on positions due to competition from foreign transfers.
The ICT UK visas are meant to be used by firms to transfer specialist staff from abroad to fufil skilled roles without the need to go through a lengthy UK visa application process. However, the PCG says banks are, instead, using the visas to attract foreign labour without having to advertise vacancies in the UK first.
Director of the PCG, Gary Sharp, says, “Companies appear to be using these ICTs much more frequently to bring in workers, particularly in IT software development and the banking industry in Edinburgh. As the recession continues to tighten the job market, Sharp says the groups members are increasingly being replaced by cheaper overseas staff through the use of the ICTs.
The PCGs concerns echo previous findings from the Parliamentary Home Affairs Committee which found that around 25% of the non-European immigrants were working in the UK through ICTs.