Unions fear a mass exodus of work next year after Lloyds TSB announced it had launched an offshore pilot involving 150 general insurance jobs.

Though the company assured workers there would be no redundancies in 2004, the profile and timing of the offshoring announcement has led financial union Unifi to condemn the move.

Unifi national officer Bernadette Fisher said: "Senior management seem to want to prove offshoring as something that works, rather then treating this is as a real test. The wide profile of the jobs they are taking out to India would seem to prove they are looking at most business areas. People are thinking 'God know what will happen in 2005'."

Lloyds TSB will be creating 43 new roles and redeploying 107 existing posts to India. The redeployed positions include: 16 generic reports; 29 branch helpline; 27 property telephone claims; five property claims invoice authorisation; 27 direct quotes and sales and three trainers. The new posts are 27 policy decommissioning and 16 business retention jobs.

A Lloyds TSB spokesperson would not rule out further offshoring in 2005.