Bank of America 'to double Chester workforce by 2020'

Bank of America's Chester office
Image caption Bank of America currently employs about 1,000 people in Chester

Bank of America has said it has plans to create about 1,000 jobs at its Merrill Lynch base in Chester.

The expected increase in jobs would see the international banking giant's workforce at Chester Business Park double in size by 2020.

Many of the roles - in finance, support and regulatory compliance - will be relocating from London, with a company director saying this would save money.

Since 2010 the bank's Chester workforce has grown from 200 to about 1,000.

'Cost advantage'

Managing director Stephen Miller said new European financial regulations have resulted in new jobs being created.

"All of that activity is effectively new to banking, which requires new roles," he said.

"That support can be done outside London. Of course there is a cost advantage to not being based in a metro centre."

City Minister Harriet Baldwin welcomed the news as being a boost for the Northern Powerhouse.

"We want to see growth in financial services jobs right across the UK," she said.

Chester MP Chris Matheson said: "It's fantastic news and proves, once again, Chester's continuing pre-eminence in the financial sector."