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Bank of America's Irish credit card business, MBNA, will likely close if a buyer cannot be secured. Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland

Hundreds of Irish jobs at risk, as US bank plans to cut card business

Bank of America – which owns the MBNA credit card company – is dropping its credit card business, which employs 1,000 here.

UP TO A THOUSAND people in Ireland could be made redundant by the decision of Bank of America to drop its international credit card businesses.

Bank of America said today it had sold its Canadian credit card business for $8.6 billion, and was planning to sell its operations elsewhere in the world.

If a buyer cannot be found for its business here – the popular credit card offerer MBNA – it will likely have to shed its entire Irish workforce of around a thousand.

The majority of those staff are based in the facility in Carrick-on-Shannon. The jobs are not under immediate threat for the time being.

This evening jobs minister Richard Bruton said he had been in touch with officials from Bank of America to discuss the future of its UK and Ireland operations, and to safeguard the future of the Carrick-on-Shannon plant.

Bruton has also contacted the IDA asking it to help find a buyer for the business.

Bank of America’s decision to drop its international credit card businesses comes as part of a decision to focus on its core business operations in the United States.

The bank has seen its share price plummet in the last ten days, as one of the biggest victims of the last fortnight’s market slump.

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