First Data Resources Ltd., the European subsidiary of First Data Corp., said it has signed a long-term extension of its six-year-old processing relationship with Lloyds Bank PLC of London.

The Lloyds unit of Lloyds TSB Group has been relying on the First Data subsidiary, known as FDRL, for cardholder processing, merchant-acquirer processing, and debit-acquiring through the Switch network. Gerald Hawkins, managing director of Lloyds TSB Group card services, said the merger of Lloyds Bank with TSB Group, formerly the Trustee Savings Banks, required a careful conversion that FDRL is uniquely qualified for. TSB had done its processing in-house.

"Lloyds TSB needed to develop a single card processing system based on state-of-the- art technology operated by a highly skilled group of people united by a single purpose," Mr. Hawkins said. "In selecting FDRL as our single processor, we can gain a lot through sharing best practices and by maximizing the capabilities of the FDRL system."

"The renewal of the processing agreement clearly demonstrates FDRL's position as Europe's leading independent card transaction processor," said the company's managing director in Basildon, Joe Jackson.

FDRL has more than 2,000 employees servicing 16 million cards and 226,000 merchant locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

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