Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) is hiring in its home state.
The $56 billion-asset company, based in Columbus, Ohio, said Wednesday it plans to add 250 jobs in the Buckeye State over the next four years to support its new credit card business.
Huntington attributed its decision to locate the business in Ohio to a state law enacted in June that removed a cap on interest rates financial institutions chartered in the state may charge consumers.
The card program, which Huntington will offer through MasterCard, marks a shift for Huntington. The company previously offered a card for consumers and businesses through MBNA and later Bank of America (BAC) as part of an arrangement that expired in June.
"We decided a year ago we wanted to issue our own credit card that would really enable us to control the customer experience," Mary Navarro, Huntington's director of retail and business banking, told American Banker. "It would be a card in line with our own philosophy of fair play."
"This is a card that will really be for our customers," she added.
Navarro said that Huntington, which serves roughly 1.2 million consumer households and about 150,000 businesses, plans to introduce a MasterCard for corporate customers in early 2013 and cards for consumers and small businesses by the middle of next year. The company, which has roughly 1.5 million consumer checking accounts, currently offers a Platinum MasterCard debit card to all customers.
Huntington has filled some jobs in information technology, product design and other back-office functions for the card business already. The company also expects to hire customer service representatives. "They may not all be based in Columbus, but we really didn't see any reason why they couldn't be located in Ohio," Navarro said.