The credit card business, which has a vast office complex in Chester Business Park, has been sold by owner Bank of America to Lloyds Banking Group for £1.9bn.
MBNA has been headquartered in the city for 25 years. It currently employs 2,000 people, but at its peak in 2011 had as many as 4,200 staff in Chester.
The acquisition by Lloyds is due to complete at the end of the first half of 2017, subject to regulatory approval. Should it go ahead, Lloyds said the purchase would add £650m each year to its revenues, and increase its share of the credit card market to 26%.
A spokesman for Lloyds this morning said that “it was too early to be considering” decisions about staff or locations, and that the banking group would be working with MBNA senior staff over the coming months.
In its statement announcing the purchase, Lloyds said that the MBNA brand would be maintained, “as a challenger brand further enhancing our customer offering. MBNA’s diversified distribution model, along with its data analytics capability, digital strength and well-recognised brand, will be complementary to the group’s existing capabilities and provides further opportunities for growth and delivering excellent customer service”.
The statement went on to say that the deal could present the opportunity to make up to £100m of efficiencies across the group.
António Horta-Osório, Lloyds group chief executive, said: “The MBNA brand and portfolio are a good fit with our existing card business and we will focus on providing its customers with excellent service and value. Our low cost to income ratio and proven integration capabilities will deliver significant synergies and value to our shareholders.”