First Data welcomed to Scotland

13 Nov 2006

Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen MSP today welcomed plans by First Data International, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment services, to open its first facility in Glasgow's International Financial Services District.  The new First Data contact centre is expected to create more than 430 financial services jobs over the next five years.

First Data International serves hundreds of the world's most innovative card issuers in nearly 70 countries across six continents.  The company offers a comprehensive portfolio of payment services including electronic processing, ATM and POS management, swtiching and authorisation, fraud and risk management, customer management, contact centre services, card personalisation and print services.

Commenting on the decision to locate the new contact centre in Scotland, Simon Rubin, Managing Director of First Data's operations in the UK, said; "We were keen to identify a location that would offer us the ability to recruit additional teams of high calibre contact centre personnel as well as give us the opportunity for further expansion.  Glasgow, with its vibrant financial services district, is well suited for our needs, and we look forward to making the new contact centre fully operational."

Welcoming the news, Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen said; "The decision by First Data to locate in Scotland is very much welcomed. This is an excellent project and has been won in the face of strong international competition."

"This will provide first class job opportunities for Glasgow as Scotland's financial services sector continues to grow," Mr Stephen continued.  "I am delighted that the Scottish Executive has been able to support this exciting project with a £2.3 million Regional Selective Assistance grant.  First Data's decision also reflects the hard work of everyone involved at Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise Glasgow, who have helped win this development for Scotland."

The financial services sector is regarded as one of Scotland's key sectors, generating £5 billion (nearly 6%) of the Scottish GDP and is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Scottish economy, having grown by 36.5% over the past five years - almost four times faster than the overall Scottish economy and twice as fast as the whole of the UK financial services industry.

Martin Togneri, Chief Executive of Scottish Development International, which led the efforts to attract First Data to Scotland said; "First Data is a blue chip player in financial services and winning their business is an important inward investment success for Glasgow and Scotland. The company's decision will help to reinforce the strength and breadth of the financial services industry in Scotland, sending a positive message to the industry worldwide and enhancing Scotland's profile as a very attractive location for financial services companies."

For more information, please contact:
 
Suzi West, First Data International
Tel:  +44 (0) 1268 297179
Mobile: +44 (0) 7966 111910
Email: Swest1@firstdatacorp.co.uk

Stephen Sharp, Scottish Enterprise 
Tel: +44 (0) 141 228 7364
Mobile: +44 (0) 7786 126 629
Email: stephen.sharp@scotent.co.uk

Notes to editors

About First Data International
First Data International, part of First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) is a leading provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses worldwide. First Data International serves a diverse range of markets, leveraging global scale through a local presence and maintaining focus on individual client needs. The company has more than 6,700 employees and operates across Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America, Canada, Australia and Asia-Pacific.

Serving 4.6 million merchant locations, 1,900 card issuers and their customers, First Data
powers the global economy by making it easy, fast and secure for people and businesses around the world to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment. The company's portfolio of services and solutions includes merchant transaction processing services; credit, debit, private-label, gift, payroll and other prepaid card offerings; fraud protection and authentication solutions; electronic check acceptance services through TeleCheck; as well as Internet commerce and mobile payment solutions. For more information, visit www.firstdata.com.

About Regional Selective Assistance
Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) is the main national scheme of financial assistance to industry.  It provides discretionary grants for investment projects that will create or safeguard jobs in Assisted Areas - areas designated for regional aid under European community law.  The scheme is administered by the RSA Scotland unit of the Scottish Executive.  Payment of RSA is made in instalments, typically over several years, provided that job and project expenditure targets are met.  The amount quoted above represent the maximum grant potentially payable if the project is satisfactorily completed.  Job numbers are based on the firms' forecast at the time a grant is offered, and are subject to change depending on future economic conditions and other factors affecting the business concerned. For further information on the scheme, go to www.rsascotland.gov.uk.

About Scottish Development International
Scottish Development International works to attract inward investment and knowledge to Scotland in order to help the economy grow. SDI also works to help Scottish companies do more business overseas and to promote Scotland as a good place to live, work and do business. It is jointly operated by the Scottish Executive and Scottish Enterprise. Its work is guided by the global connections theme of the Scottish Executive's Smart Successful Scotland strategy for economic development in Scotland.

About Scottish Enterprise
Scottish Enterprise is the main economic development agency for Scotland covering 93% of the population from Grampian to the Borders. The Scottish Enterprise Network consists of Scottish Enterprise and 12 Local Enterprise Companies.  Working in partnership with the private and public sectors the Network aims to build more and better businesses, to develop the skills and knowledge of Scottish people, and to encourage innovation to make Scottish business internationally competitive.  Further information on Scottish Enterprise is available at www.scottish-enterprise.com