WILTON — The town’s largest employer will shut down March 31, leaving 227 people without jobs.

Barclaycard is closing its Wilton call center, Town Manager Rhonda Irish said Tuesday afternoon.

Barclaycard US, operated by the UK-based Barclays bank, is a credit card and payment services provider and is one of Franklin County’s largest employers. There was no explanation or notice of the impending closure on the company’s website.

Irish was surprised by the news.

“It’s very unfortunate,” she said. “They’ve been a good employer in the town. It’s never good news when a business of any size closes.”

The bank had been having a tough year financially. Its shares lost 23 percent of their value in the last year, according to the Financial Times.

Barclaycard US provides customized and co-branded credit card programs for travel, entertainment, retail, affinity, and financial institutions in the United States. One of its Maine customers, Freeport retailer L.L. Bean, dropped Barclaycards as its provider of branded credit cards in July. The outdoor gear company switched to Citibank, saying it thought it offered better customer benefits.

At the time, a Barclaycard US spokesperson said, “There are no changes planned in Wilton at this time. We appreciate L.L.Bean’s partnership for the past nine years and wish them continued success moving forward.”

Shortly after the closure announcement, Gov. Janet Mills’ office issued a statement saying the Department of Labor will “use all available resources to support the employees, their families and the Wilton community.”

“This is deeply disappointing news that will have a profound impact on the community, the employees and their families,” Mills said. “We will marshal the resources of the Department of Labor and other government agencies to support the employees, their families and the community, beginning by deploying a rapid response team to meet with the employees to provide re-employment services and help evaluate their health insurance and severance options.”

Judy Pelletier, a spokeswoman for the department’s rapid response team, said Tuesday that she’s reached out to Barclaycard and will set up sessions for employees. The sessions will include needs surveys and finding out where workers are from, so the rapid response team “can provide services as close as possible,” she said.

“We’re trying to do whatever we can on site prior to that layoff,” she said.

Barclaycard opened its Wilton call center on Weld Road in 2008 and added hundreds of jobs in its first six years. In 2015, it completed a $5 million expansion, allowing the business to employ nearly 500 workers. As of last summer, its  branded cards portfolio included JetBlue, American Airlines, Lufthansa, Hawaiian Airlines, Carnival and Holland America cruise lines, Uber and Priceline.com.

Irish said the Wilton Board of Selectpersons has scheduled an emergency meeting for 6 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the closure and to coordinate services for the employees.

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