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160 jobs to go as MBNA closes Carrick-on-Shannon call centre

Attempts to sell the call centre were not possible according to the company.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Updated 5.15 pm

MBNA IS TO close its call centre in Carrick-on-Shannon which could lead to the loss of 160 full-time jobs.

The credit card company says that the latest decision to close the call and support centre has come following a review of customer care operations in the UK and Ireland.

“Our business is now UK-focused and serves UK customers, so we are proposing to align our resources to the market in which we operate,” MBNA’s chief executive Ian O’Doherty said this afternoon.

MBNA’s credit card business is now expected to be run entirely from their centre in Chester in the UK.

The company says that they examined a number of options for the Carrick-on-Shannon centre including its sale to a third-party.

“Regrettably, this was not achievable and so we are proposing to close the operation,”  O’Doherty said.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton has said that his thoughts are with the workers at the centre who now face an “unfortunate and difficult situation”.

The minister says that the IDA has “maintained regular engagement” with local management as well as Bank of America in the US to promote the centre:

I have spoken with the company and unfortunately, faced with a decline in business, the company have made a commercial decision to close this business and service their entire UK credit card business from their large centre in Chester.

Part of the MBNA’s credit card business in Carrick-on-Shannon was sold to Apollo Global Management in 2012 and the minister says that this business is “working well” and “remains a crucial linchpin of the local economy”.

Bruton says that he has asked enterprise agencies like Enterprise Ireland and the IDA to help find those made unemployed alternative employment.

He says that representatives from the agencies will be available to the employees at the MBNA site and an information day will also be organised.

Local Independent TD Denis Naughten has described the decision to close centre as “devastating”.

“This is devastating news for the employees and their families and also to the region as a whole,” he stated.

“This decision will have major repercussions throughout the area and every effort must be made to sell the call centre facility in Carrick-on-Shannon to other potential operators and to retain the jobs locally.”

Minister Bruton says that the IDA will continue to highlight the strengths of the region.

Read: 250 jobs saved with part-sale of MBNA in Carrick-on-Shannon >

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Rónán Duffy

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