Bank of America employees play the waiting game

Bank of America employees have effectively been left in limbo with no time frame for any proposed sale or indeed, no indication of whether Bank of America will be able to guarantee the future of over 700 jobs in Carrick-on-Shannon as part of any sale agreement.

Bank of America employees have effectively been left in limbo with no time frame for any proposed sale or indeed, no indication of whether Bank of America will be able to guarantee the future of over 700 jobs in Carrick-on-Shannon as part of any sale agreement.

by Leonie McKiernan

With Bank of America confirming this week that at least 3,500 jobs are to be axed globally by the Bank and the possibility of thousands of other job cuts in the longer term, the sense of urgency around the proposed sale of the UK and Irish Credit Card operation, is growing.

However when asked by our reporter what the time frame was for the sale of the business or if the new job cuts would impact workers here in Ireland, Bank of America offered no clear answer to either query.

Instead a spokesperson maintained that there had been no change in the situation from last week and re-issued last week’s statement which said that the European consumer credit card business is a “successful and profitable operation with a highly skilled workforce in Chester and Carrick-on-Shannon”.

It went on to state that the Bank would be “seeking to bring certainty for our employees by identifying an appropriate solution as quickly as possible. We are in the early stages of the process and our ultimate decision will be based on what is in the best interest of our shareholders, employees, customers and partners.”

Staff left in limbo

Staff at the Carrick-on-Shannon office are trying to remain optimistic for the future despite the uncertainty, however it is clear that the situation is taking its toll.

It is understood that some staff who had been pre-approved for mortgages and loans had their offers withdrawn by their banks in the wake of last week’s exit announcement by Bank of America.

Staff who spoke with the Leitrim Observer but asked to remain anonymous, said that they were very worried about the future of their jobs and were frustrated by the lack of clarity on the issue.

“It’s just “wait and see”,” one employee told our reporter, “but that doesn’t stop you worrying about the future”.

Worst hit are families where the Bank is the sole source of income. There are a number of families where both husband and wife are employed by Bank of America and other single parent families are also totally reliant on the income from the Bank.

For these, the wait for news is especially brutal as many have bought homes in the region, have children attending schools locally and simply cannot pack up and move to another area if the Carrick office fails to sell.

To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.