Sallie Mae plans to return jobs from India to US

Its reverse offshoring plan will create 2,000 jobs in 18 months

Student loan provider Sallie Mae Inc. said Monday it plans to return its offshore operations to the United States, creating some 2,000 IT and call center jobs.

The reverse offshoring move by Reston Va.-based Sallie Mae, formerly known as SLM Corp., will be completed in about 18 months and appears to offset some of the company's previously announced layoffs.

"The current economic environment has caused our communities to struggle with job losses," Albert Lord, Sallie Mae's CEO, said in today's announcement. "They need jobs, and we will put 2,000 of them into U.S. facilities as soon as we possibly can."

In its annual report for 2008, Sallie Mae said it reduced operating expenses by more than 20% in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to the same quarter in 2007. The reduction was accomplished by lowering its head count by 2,900 or 26% and consolidating operations by closing several work locations.

Sallie Mae runs offshore operations including loan orginations, servicing and collections -- involving both applications processing and call centers -- in Pune and Bangalore, India and in Baguio, Philippines. (See operations overview PDF for details.)

Sallie Mae manages about $180 billion in student loans for some 10 million students.

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