ENERGY giant Npower has announced it is axing 400 jobs in Oldbury and outsourcing the work to India.

The company will close down its Quayside House offices in June in a move described as "scandalous, arrogant and insensitive" by Warley MP John Spellar.

NPower, which is increasing its prices by 10.4 per cent this week, will keep 500 workers in Oldbury at its offices in Birchfeld and Birch Houses.

Rob Sawle, Npower’s head of customer accounts, said: “Today’s announcement is really hard for our people who work here in Oldbury. The teams here have done a fantastic job for us and we’ll do everything we can to look after everyone’s affected.”

“As a business, we’re operating in extremely tough times and we’ve had to look at what’s right for the long term future of the company." He added: "We also have to keep our costs as low as possible when our customers are seeing bills going up due to a range of external factors."

Mr Spellar is furious at Npower's decision to axe workers in Oldbury.

He said: "These workers have given years and decades of loyal service and are bring kicked in the teeth by a greedy company.

"There is a massive public debate about energy prices and profits and now, in their insatiable greed, they're sacking British employees just before Christmas and transferring the jobs to India."

He added: "Their behaviour is a disgrace and the energy secretary needs to consider the whole shape of the energy market."

Npower will now be undertaking a 60-day consultation programme with all affected employees.

The union Unison also slammed Npower's decision.

Andrew Johnson, regional Unison organiser, said: "Npower have consistently let their customers and staff down by not investing enough in the workforce, technology or in the latest customer service techniques.

"This has led to a huge number of complaints which the company seems to think they can deal with by shifting the responsibility to somewhere else - including to India."

The back office roles currently undertaken by the axed employees will now be provided by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).