City MP Chris Matheson will be talking to MBNA following reports the £7bn Chester-based credit card business is up for sale because he wants to ensure the jobs stay here.
The national media are reporting HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and Santander UK are interested in buying the finance company with a deadline for bidders this week.
MBNA has declined to comment however The Chronicle has spoken to staff who claim the bank is indeed up for sale.
Potential consequences for the 2,000-strong workforce at Chester Business Park are unknown.
Mr Matheson MP, who studied economics and politics at the world famous London School of Economics, said: “There is a jobs concern because there are several thousand quality jobs in Chester that depend on MBNA’s presence. Of course, it also has a presence in the wider financial service market which we are also strong on in Chester.
“It’s not just that. Of course, MBNA make a massive contribution to the local community. We want to retain that as well. We are very grateful and we want them to continue making it.”
The MP, who has discussed the issue with Cheshire West and Chester Council leader Samantha Dixon, continued: “At the moment I am unaware of any plans for an actual sale but I will be speaking with management to see what we can do to help them and of course to ensure that they remain firmly here in Chester.
“Obviously, MBNA has been good for Chester but Chester is good for MBNA too. If they want to continue to grow then Chester is the best place for them to be.”
MBNA is owned by Bank of America Merrill Lynch which has a separate base on the business park.
This is not the first time MBNA has been put up for sale.
The credit card business went to the market in 2011-12 but the sale was postponed believed to be due to ‘market conditions’.
Virgin Money, which had a 50-50 joint venture with MBNA, was reported to be close to sealing a deal to buy part of the business at that time. And it was claimed Barclaycard had been interested in snapping up what was left of the portfolio.
Virgin later bought £1bn credit card assets from MBNA when it launched its own credit card business in 2015 after taking over Northern Rock building society.
The rival finance house initially hired office space in nearby Regus House on Chester Business Park but eventually moved into Gorse Stacks House, George Street, next to the block housing the NHS Fountains medical centre in the city centre.