The process regarding the sale of Bank of America’s (BOA’s) UK credit card businesses remains on-going. The former MBNA Credit Card Processing facility in Carrick-on-Shannon now comprises two operations. Firstly, a new operation called AvantCard was established following the purchase of part of BOA’s Credit Card portfolio by Apollo. This operation employs approximately 250 staff who transferred from BOA to AvantCard (Apollo) under TUPE regulations on 13 March 2013. I welcome this positive development. The second operation remains in the ownership of BOA and employs approximately 200 people who take care of the UK credit card business. Apollo has acquired the entire building in Carrick and has leased back office space to BOA. We welcome this investment in Carrick-on-Shannon by Apollo.
BOA continues to look for a buyer for the remainder of the UK credit card book. IDA Ireland is in regular contact with Bank of America management in Dublin and with the parent company in the US to monitor developments. IDA met with senior executives of Apollo in London in September 2013 where the transfer of the Carrick facility and staff to Apollo, and further investment opportunities for the group in Ireland, were discussed. IDA will remain in contact with the company and will continue to highlight the strengths of the Carrick site to a broad range of potential investors.