MORE than 3,000 workers in Chester are fearing for their future after a bank announced it is planning to sell-off its UK business.

The revelation has sent shockwaves through Bank of America staff based at the plush headquarters on Chester Business Park on Wrexham Road.

The planned sell-off comes after Bank of America agreed a deal for its credit card business in Canada to the TD Bank Group.

Its European card business, including its bases in Chester and Ireland, is one of the biggest in Europe, handling 19 billion dollars in credit card loans and employing more than 4,000 people.

Staff in Chester were issued with a statement from bank bosses yesterday informing them that they had made the “difficult” decision to “exit” the European card service.

The anxious workers were also told that no final decisions had yet been made on how the company “exits” its European services.

They were also told that Bank of America was proud and grateful for their efforts in making European Card Services strong and profitable.

John McIvor, head of international communications at Bank of America, said: “Our intention is to exit from the business, the process is already under way."

Mr McIvor added a combined 4,000 jobs are held between the Chester and Ireland site, with the majority of jobs in Chester.

“Our strategy is clear, we have been transforming the company to deliver the franchise to our core customer groups and building a fortress balance sheet behind that,” said chief executive officer Brian Moynihan.

“While the credit card remains a fundamental core product for our US customers, an international consumer card business under another brand is not consistent with that strategy.”

The move also continues the transformation of Bank of America’s credit card business, following the sale of the UK Business Lending portfolio, the agreement to sell the Spanish card business, and the company’s recent sales of the Regions and Sovereign credit card portfolios.

Bank of America operates out of more than 40 countries and provides individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services.