Bank of America layoffs may target Delaware-based operations

The Delaware-based credit card division of Bank of America may be one of the units affected by the bank’s plan to lay off a total of 30-thousand employees. 

Bank of America purchased the credit division from MBNA six years ago.  Global Card Services is still based in Wilmington, and Bank of America employs about seven-thousand people in Delaware. 

Charlotte, NC-based B. of A. has not indicated where exactly where the job cuts will come from, or where they will occur. 

Governor Jack Markell has been meeting with Bank of America officials and leaders of other institutions to determine if there is anything the state could be doing to keep as many jobs as possible, according to his Communications Director Catherine Rossi.  She says the Governor plans to continue the dialogue.

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“One of the reasons the Governor proposed and the Delaware legislature passed an enhanced tax credit and change in the bank franchise tax this year was to put Delaware in a more competitive position to keep Delaware’s financial jobs,” Rossi says.  “It’s an incredibly challenging economic environment and Bank of America’s Delaware workforce is one of the best, having built one of the strongest credit card brands in the country.”

Cutbacks in the financial sector are nothing new to Delaware.  George Sharpley, Labor Market Analyst with the Delaware Department of Labor, says the banking-related field employed about 30-thousand people at its peak in the late 1990s.  Now, about 26-thousand Delawareans work in the financial sector.

It’s not just happening in the First State.  Sharpley says it’s part of a national and even worldwide trend.

“Small banks combine, get bought up, and become bigger banks,” Sharpley says.  “Usually when that happens, there’s going to be some redundancies that lead  to overall employment declines.”

Bank of America says the cuts would represent ten-percent of its overall workforce.  The company hopes to trim costs by $5-billion a year by 2014.

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