Accountants may be the next group to be see their jobs 'outsourced' to India. The consequences of this exodus to the economy of London and the South east of England may be profound, according to Chris Gentle, senior analyst at Deloitte Consulting in London.
"People have not yet grasped the enormity of what could happen . . . If middle-office jobs are hit, London and the South-East region will really suffer because these higher-paid jobs are the drivers of the South-East economy, particularly of house prices.
"Potentially, within five years we could see a downward pressure on wage rates and a deflationary effect. By the end of this decade, the City could be transformed."
According to Deloitte, the world's 100 largest financial services companies have indicated that they expect to transfer an estimated $356bn (£220bn) of their operations and two million jobs offshore by 2008 in their efforts to cut costs.