Councillor Mike Jones, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “This is wonderful news for Chester and provides the city with a new aspect to its technology portfolio – one which will help publicise the name of Chester across the world.

“We have already highlighted the very significant contribution that MBNA have made to this city and today’s announcement means that this connection will be maintained in the future through its parent Company Bank of America.”

Councillor Herbert Manley, Executive Member for Prosperity, believes that the accompanying announcement of a 150 job reduction at MBNA is an ongoing part of the company’s efforts to increase the attractiveness of a highly profitable company to would-be buyers.

“The Council is working closely with MBNA as the sale process for the company’s credit card business continues and we are obviously hoping that the ongoing search will be successful.”

Added Councillor Manley: “The Council’s multi-agency Redundancy Action Support Team will be available to deal with any request for help from MBNA employees should it be necessary.”

Professor Steven Broomhead, Chairman of Chester Renaissance, said: “Whilst  restructuring of the company’s credit card business is sad but probably inevitable, news of the new regional technology centre is a very positive statement from bank of America about the importance it attaches to Chester as a future base.”