Uncertain future as credit card giant cuts 100 jobs
ONE hundred jobs at credit card giant MBNA are to be axed from the end of the year.
The job losses at the Carrick-on-Shannon site will reduce the workforce to 650 but the future of those employees is still uncertain.
In August, parent company Bank of America announced it was pulling out of the UK and Ireland credit card markets, sparking fears for the future of the 750 staff at the Co Leitrim operation.
Efforts are being made to find a buyer for the site and secure the bulk of the positions.
A spokeswoman said: "The collective consultation starts today for 30 days, and when that is completed those roles will start to leave the business by the end of this year, into next year."
Management want the 100 cuts to be voluntary and have entered into talks with workers.
Only roles assigned to the UK credit card business are affected by the redundancies. Another 150 jobs are being axed in Chester in the UK.
The company said it would be business as usual for the Ireland card business.
About 250 of the workforce in Carrick-on-Shannon are assigned to the Irish credit card business, with the remainder working on the UK operations.
Bank of America's Europe Card Executive Ian O'Doherty said the job cuts were vital.
"The proposed reductions we are announcing today, while difficult, are vital in the context of the environment in which we are operating and as we prepare our European consumer credit card business for the best possible outcome," he said.
Frank Feighan, a Fine Gael TD for Roscommon/South Leitrim, said he hoped a buyer could be found for the facility.
"While I had hoped that a buyer would be found before any redundancies were announced, we are still very hopeful that the jobs in Carrick-on-Shannon will be saved," he said.
Leitrim Fianna Fail Senator Paschal Mooney said answers were needed on what was being done to find a buyer.
"We have heard the Jobs Minister Richard Burton talk about a high level of interest from buyers, but we have no idea what stage of the process this is at," Mr Mooney said.
Enterprise and Employment Minister Richard Bruton travelled to the US in September where he met Bank of America bosses.
Separately, Bank of America said it plans to establish a regional technology and operations centre in Chester.