At least 100 Longford workers employed at Carrick-on-Shannon’s MBNA credit card company are facing an anxious wait this week as fears grow over the future of more than 700 jobs.
News of the shock announcement came on Monday afternoon after MBNA’s parent company -Bank of America - announced plans to withdraw from its Irish and UK markets.
One of the biggest employers in the midlands, MBNA employs up to 1,000 people, many of whom travel the relatively short distance down the N4 from County Longford.
It’s not known precisely how many employees from within Co Longford might be affected by any jobs announcement but it is believed the figure could stand at well over the 100 mark.
Many workers who were last night (Tuesday) still trying to digest the news were too reluctant to give their reaction when contacted by the Leader.
One staff member from Rooskey, who declined to have his name published, said he learned of the announcement by text while on annual leave.
“I don’t know anything as I am on holidays,” he explained. “The best we can hope for now is that some sort of financial institution will come in and buy it because the business will still be there.”
He said he was unsure how many of his fellow Longford employees might be affected, despite admitting it was likely to impact “a lot of people”.
He added the decision taken by Bank of America’s most senior management was evidence of the continuing uncertainties facing leading domestic as well as large scale multinational conglomerates.
“I have been there eight years, but that’s the world we live in isn’t it,” he stated.
As the enormity of Monday evening’s sudden disclosure emerged, the company swiftly moved to dispel fears job losses were also likely at its two Dublin plants where Bank of America employs 700 people.
In a statement, chief executive of Bank of America Corporation, Bryan Moynihan confirmed the news.
“We have been transforming the company to deliver the franchise to our core customer groups, and building a fortress balance sheet behind that. While the credit card remains a fundamental core product for our US customers, an international consumer card business under another brand is not consistent with that strategy.”
Those comments received a guarded response from Roscommon County Mayor, Cllr Eugene Murphy who said it was his belief Bank of America were set on “winding down” its Carrick-on-Shannon facility.
“If this major employer in our region is to close it will affect at least 5,000 people,” he warned.
Dromod councillor Sean McGowan saic the news was potentially devastating for the local community adding that it was hugely important that the company be saved. He called on Jobs Minister Richard Bruton “to leave no stone unturned in saving the jobs in Carrick on Shannon.”