Younger generation on track for brighter financial futures

Younger generation on track for brighter financial futures

NatWest unveils Year 2 findings from the MoneySense Panel – an unprecedented five year survey of over 9,000 young people, aged 12-19 years, examining the effectiveness of financial education. It looks at earnings, budgeting, debt, and hopes and aspirations for their future finances.

The results from this year’s NatWest MoneySense Panel reveal a generation becoming increasingly aware of the challenging economic times they live in, and preparing for their financial futures in ways their parents never did. With more importance placed on the personal finance curriculum in schools, there is evidence of a more financially capable generation.

An impressive 86% of young people keep track of their money, up from 79% last year
82% reported learning about money at home or at school last year with 77% looking up to their parents for advice on money
Over two-thirds (68%) said they knew more about managing money than last year
Financial ‘Expectation Gap’ Narrowing:
Young People were asked about their financial aspirations for the future on buying a home, a car, what they hope to earn and then these were measured against the reality, giving us the ‘expectation gap’. Although respondents still have high financial hopes for their futures, this year’s findings reveal that this gap is narrowing. Last year, our economic analysis shows that in total, this expectation gap equated to at least £76,967 per person or £538,765billion across Great Britain , which now stands at £72,133, a drop of 6% or £4,834 since last year. (£504,930billion)°.

SALARIES: On average, young people expect to be earning an annual salary at the age 35 of £53,900 (significantly more realistic than last year’s £69,500). The current annual salary of adults is £23,893 at the age of 35¹.
CARS: 72% of 12-19 year-olds expect to own their own car by the age of 21. Last year only one in 8 drivers were aged 21².
DEBT: A more realistic 39% of young people believe that they will owe less than £10,000 in debt when they finish university, down from 43% last year. The actual figure is about £12,700³.
‘Home owning, debt-free, high earners’ of the future:
These findings paint a picture of a generation which although becoming increasingly aware of the economic climate, have optimistic expectations for their future finances. This generation predict high salaries and low debt in their financial futures however this expectation gap has narrowed over the past year, suggesting a more clued-up, ‘realistic’ future generation. While this demonstrates a more cautious approach, the good news is that they have not given up on long term ambitions of home ownership. 58% of this generation hope to own a house by the age of 25. This translates to an estimated 2.3million future home-owners.

Positive and on track for brighter financial futures:
With much more importance placed on financial education in schools, and more exposure to talk of money around them, it is encouraging to note some positive trends that have emerged over the past year when it comes to attitudes towards their financial situations, keeping track of their money and seeking advice on money matters. 86% of 12-19 year olds keep track of their money and 77% of them think their parents are ‘good at managing money’. But in stark contrast 91% of adults have never received any form of financial education*.

With young people saying they receive on average 1,500 a year (124 per month) in the form of pocket money, monetary gifts, and mobile top up credit, this is a generation clearly at ease with receiving, managing and spending money. Although only 27% are earning from household chores, in the older groups the sense of having to supplement the money they get at home is demonstrated by the number of youngsters who have part time jobs. Nearly a quarter of fifteen year olds are balancing school work with a part time job, rising to over a third (34%) of sixteen years olds and 42% of seventeen year olds.

Half of young people are content that they ‘have enough money’, up from 46% last year.
The number of young people keeping track of their money increased by 7% from 79% last year to an impressive 86% this year. A majority 62% expressed that they would not spend their money on things if they think they might need the money for something else. This suggests a level of planning when it comes to spending.
When asked how much more money per month would make them happy, this year young people came across less needy than last year citing £372 compared to £496. (25% less needy this year)
There is more acceptance of debt as a reality in life (30% up from 26% last year)
It is also encouraging that almost a quarter (23%) would consider the interest rate when thinking about borrowing money, up from only 17% last year.
‘Hopeful Generation’ coming down to earth:
Salary expectations at the age of 35 stands at £53,500 - significantly lower than last year’s £69,500. This compares to the current average annual earnings of only £23,893 for 30-39 year olds in Great Britain. Furthermore, the research seems to demonstrate that a young person’s earning aspirations are to some extent determined by their own parents’ salaries. This contrast was starkly highlighted in the findings; young people from higher earning families optimistically expect to be earning an average of £56,900 at the age of 35. This contrasts with young people from lower socio-economic groups, who estimate £12,000 less at that age - £44,200 on average.

Maxine Norris, Head of NatWest MoneySense for Schools, comments: “The MoneySense Panel results are encouraging in that young people’s attitudes and behaviours towards money seem to be moving in the right direction. This will be the first time these young people live through an economic downturn which, although challenging for their parents, may encourage greater realism when it comes to their future financial expectations. Last year the NatWest MoneySense for Schools programme delivered almost a million lessons on managing money in 60% of UK secondary schools, and we are committed to continue this work equipping the next generation with the skills and knowledge they need to face the financial challenges ahead of them.

Ultimately, the more exposed young people are to financial issues, and the younger they become aware of them, particularly during the challenging economic climate, the more likely they are to become responsible, forward-planning adults who manage their finances confidently and effectively.”

Dr Sandra Scott, Psychological Expert, who has tracked the NatWest MoneySense Panel from the start, says: “Young people can be remarkably influenced by changes in their parents’ attitudes towards money. We may see that this change in outlook during the economic downturn could result in more savvy, informed young people with a greater understanding of how they can best shape their financial futures. The NatWest MoneySense Panel could be key in tracking the progress the next generation makes and we as parents and guardians should remember the importance of engaging our children on money matters as they develop into financially aware young adults.”

Other Key Findings from the Research:
The panel findings revealed some dramatic differences across the country in young people’s attitudes towards their future finances:

Young people in the South West are best at budgeting with 89% keeping track of their money compared to 83% in the North East, North West and Scotland.
Young people in Scotland are the most happy with the money they receive, with 59% agreeing that they always have enough money, while in the South West only 40% are content with their current financial situation.
In terms of earnings it seems young people in the North West receive a massive £140 per month compared young people in the West Midlands who receive £84 a month on average.
37% of young people in the SW earn money from chores while only 21% in the North West and the North East help out at home for their pocket money.
Young people in the West Midlands seem to have wised up the most when it comes to saying they would considering the interest rate when borrowing money (28%), compared to only 9% last year.
Young people in the East Midlands reported knowing more about money over the past year (75%), the highest of all the regions.
Perhaps unsurprisingly Londoners predicted the highest salaries by the time they reach 35: a staggering £77,400, while those in the South West were the most realistic predicting £33,700 (£43,700 less than Londoners)
Scottish parents seem to be the most highly regarded by their children as good at managing money – 83% reported this, compared to only 69% in the North East.

RBS begins consultation with Unite about job losses

RBS begins consultation with Unite about job losses

RBS has begun consulting Unite and other employee representatives about a business plan for its back office operations that will regrettably involve job losses.

The plan could affect up to 9,000 Group Manufacturing roles globally, including 4,500 in the UK, over the next two years.

However, the actual number of jobs lost is expected to be significantly lower than this.

A redeployment programme has already identified 650 new job opportunities in the UK and the impact will also be reduced through natural turnover and less use of agency staff.

RBS will make voluntary redundancy arrangements available which may suit some of the staff affected by this announcement. RBS agrees with Unite that compulsory redundancies should be a last resort.

The business plan, which involves a number of other cost-saving initiatives including moving to a common technology platform, will help RBS achieve its target of reducing annual costs by £2.5bn within the next three years.

Stephen Hester, Chief Executive of RBS, said: “We have set a new strategy for RBS to restore the Bank to standalone strength as soon as practicable. From this we want the Government to be able to realise value from its investment in RBS. To do so we need to cut our costs, as in all businesses, given the current recession. Unfortunately that means taking difficult decisions about jobs as well as taking many other cost reduction actions. We want to be as open and transparent as possible and are announcing these plans at the earliest possible opportunity so that our employees can prepare for the future.”

Aviva announces restructured reattribution offer

Aviva announces restructured reattribution offer

Flexible offer to reflect value of inherited estate
Minimum payment of £200
90% of eligible policyholders to receive between £200 and £1,150
Individual choice whether to accept cash - not a majority vote
Financial strength of funds not affected
Aviva plc (”Aviva”) has agreed with the policyholder advocate Clare Spottiswoode that a restructured reattribution offer can be put to policyholders.

Mark Hodges, chief executive of Aviva’s UK Life business, said: “This is a good deal for our customers and shareholders. We’ve worked hard with Clare and her team to come up with a flexible offer which accommodates the exceptional market conditions but still represents good value for the vast majority of our eligible customers.

“We believe that giving customers the opportunity to benefit from a reattribution is the right thing to do and each one of them will have the opportunity to choose whether to accept our offer.

“This is in addition to the special bonus of £2.1 billion allocated to policyholders at the beginning of 2008, of which two thirds has already been added to policies.”

Clare Spottiswoode, the policyholder advocate, who represents the interests of policyholders said: “This is good news for policyholders after the turmoil in the financial markets that affected the plan announced last year. This offer is also good for the great majority of policyholders under the FSA’s current rules.

“The Aviva proposal shows that together we have found an imaginative way of keeping the reattribution in place which includes the opportunity for policyholders to benefit from any increase in the estates. Policyholders who decide not to accept the offer and keep their rights to future special distributions are also protected.”

The company will write to the one million policyholders in two of its with-profits funds with details of the revised reattribution offer.

Flexible payout to reflect value of inherited estate
The new, flexible offer will accommodate future changes in the value of the inherited estate in the lead-up to the reattribution later this year. This means that the payout to customers will change to reflect rises or falls in the value of the inherited estate.

The final payments to customers will be based on the average value of the inherited estate over the three-month period from June to August. This calculation will be made before a High Court hearing to approve the deal, planned for September 2009.

90% of policyholders to receive between £200 and £1,150
The most recent valuation of the inherited estate was £1.4 billion (at 31 March 2009). If the estate were to remain at that level, around 90% of the one million eligible policyholders would receive a cash payment of between £244 and £1,150, depending on the value and maturity date of their policy. The remaining 10% of policyholders will receive higher payments.

Eligible policyholders will receive a letter giving an indication of their individual offer based on an inherited estate value of £1.2 billion, because this is the lowest valuation at which Aviva would proceed with the reattribution. If the value of the estate is higher at the effective date of the reattribution then policyholders will automatically receive a bigger payment.

Assuming an estate value of £1.2 billion, around 90% of policyholders could expect to receive a cash payment of between £200 and £1,000, with the remaining 10% receiving more.

The majority of the cash payouts will be tax-free and Aviva expects to start making payments to policyholders in November 2009.

Individual choice and strength of funds unaffected
Each customer will be able to choose whether they wish to accept the cash payment - it will not be a majority vote.

If policyholders choose not to accept the payment, they will continue to receive their normal bonuses and it will have no impact on the security or performance of their investment.

The payouts will come from Aviva’s shareholder funds, not the inherited estate or the with profits funds.

This means that the inherited estate will continue to provide support to the business until it is no longer needed, to protect customers by making sure that the funds stay financially strong.

Next steps
Eligible policyholders will receive a voting pack in June explaining the offer and the process in more detail, and need take no action until then. In the meantime, the reattribution timetable is available at: www.norwichunion.co.uk/fundtransfer or the policyholder advocate’s website: www.policyholderadvocate.org/.

Aviva holds investor briefing on UK life business and reattribution

Aviva holds investor briefing on UK life business and reattribution

Aviva plc (”Aviva”) will hold an investor and analyst briefing on their UK life business at 0930hrs today at their corporate headquarters in London.

Aviva’s UK life business is the leading life and pensions provider in the UK and has undergone transformational change to become a low cost organisation which is well positioned for future growth, profitability and capital generation.

During the presentation Mark Hodges, CEO of Aviva UK Life and his team will show that the business is in excellent shape. It has a consistent and compelling strategy; is delivering against its promises and has clear plans and priorities for continuing to increase profitability in the future. They will set out a range of metrics to demonstrate the progress made between 2005 and 2008, including:

A 27% increase in life and pension sales from £9.2 billion to £11.7 billion1
Improved margins, from 2.9% to 3.5%1
Improved IRR on new business on an unlevered basis from 10.6% to 14%
More than an 80% increase in the embedded value existing business operating return from £370 million to £680 million and
An increase in underlying IFRS operating profits of 65% from £380 million to £630 million.
Mark Hodges will also be setting out in detail the shareholder’s case for proceeding with the reattribution of the inherited estates in the CULAC and CGNU with profits funds. The offer will enhance the cashflow profile of the UK life business and will yield significant financial benefits. For an expected policyholder incentive payment of £400 million2 for the inherited estate, payable in late 2009, shareholders will expect to gain

Access to around £600 million of additional capital over five years to fund new non-profit business.
An IRR of at least 13.5% and a three year cash payback period for the incentive payment. Policyholder behaviour and a recovery in debt and property markets would offer significant potential upsides.
One-off profits of around £150 million on an MCEV basis and £60 million on an IFRS basis, with on-going earnings on the value of the estate of around £50 million per annum thereafter.
Plans are already in place to offset the initial IGD impact of the incentive payment by the time it is made. Around half of the impact will be mitigated through Aviva UK Life initiatives, with the remainder through other group actions. We expect the transaction to improve the IGD surplus thereafter.

Further information on what the proposed reattribution means for policyholders is contained in a separate announcement made today.

Mark Hodges commented: “In the last three years we have worked tirelessly to transform Aviva UK Life into a genuinely market leading company. We have made a great deal of progress against the strategy that I set out in October 2006, and the results of the changes we have made are evident in our earnings, improved margins and customer metrics.

“My senior management team and I are looking forward to demonstrating how we will continue to be winners in today’s market in the UK, both in terms of profitability, capital efficiency and of market share.

“We have announced today that we are going ahead with the reattribution of the inherited estate. Whilst markets mean that the payout will be lower, we believe that policyholders have a right to share in the benefits of the inherited estate. Each customer will be able to choose whether they wish to accept the cash payment - it will not be a majority vote. This is a deal that is beneficial both for our customers and our shareholders. Most importantly we have plans in place to ensure that the payments we make to the policyholders, alongside the actions on solvency, mean that there will be no adverse impact from this transaction on the group’s solvency surplus.”

Aviva appoints new non-executive director

Aviva appoints new non-executive director

Aviva plc (”Aviva”) has appointed Mr Leslie Van de Walle, aged 53, as an independent non-executive director with effect from 6 May 2009.

Mr Van de Walle is currently chief executive officer of Rexam plc, the global consumer packaging company, and a non-executive director of Aegis Group plc, a position that he will retire from at their Annual General Meeting on 22 May following six years’ service on the board.

Mr Van de Walle has also held a variety of other senior executive roles, including executive vice president of retail for oil poducts and head of oil products, Shell Europe, for Royal Dutch Shell plc. He has extensive marketing and brand experience, particularly in the consumer goods sector where he has held senior positions with Cadbury Schweppes plc and United Biscuits Ltd.

Lord Sharman of Redlynch, chairman, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Leslie to Aviva. He brings an international outlook, strong analytical ability and an excellent track record of delivering improved performance. I am confident Leslie will make a valuable contribution to Aviva at what is a very exciting time in its development.”

Friends Provident PLC Doc re Shareholder Circular

Friends ProvidentPLC Doc re Shareholder Circular

Friends Provident plc (the Company) announces that copies of the Shareholder
Circular relating to the introduction of Friends Provident Group plc as the
holding company of Friends Provident plc by means of a Scheme of Arrangement
under Part 26 of the Companies Act 2006 including Notices of Shareholder
Meetings and the Prospectus relating to the admission to trading of shares in
Friends Provident Group plc are now available at www.friendsprovident.com/
reports

Copies of the following documents have been submitted to the UKLA and will be
available for inspection shortly at the UKLA’s Document Viewing Facility, which
is situated at 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HS (Tel. 020
7066 1000):

Shareholder Circular including Notices of Shareholder Meetings;
Sample Form of Direction;
Sample Form of Proxy;
Notification of Availability; and
Prospectus

For further information, please contact: Gordon Ellis, Group Secretary 0845
2683441.

Dee Caffari calls on girl power for another world record attempt

Dee Caffari calls on girl power for another world record attempt

In June, Dee Caffari, the British yachtswoman who made history by becoming the first woman to sail solo, non stop both ways around the world, will attempt to break the record for sailing around Britain and Ireland. Caffari will be joined onboard her yacht Aviva by an all female crew, including fellow British yachtswoman and Vendée Globe race rival Samantha Davies, for the record attempt.

Starting and finishing in Portsmouth, the route is almost 2,500 nautical miles around the British coastline featuring some of the world’s most technical waters with ever-changing weather conditions, tidal flows and adverse land effects. Extra vigilance will be needed throughout the record attempt for shipping and other obstructions such as oil rigs in the North Sea.

Dee Caffari commented: “It’s been over two months since the end of the Vendée Globe, so I am really looking forward to being reunited with Aviva and getting back out on the water. Although I haven’t sailed with a crew for a while, I think it will be great to have some company for this record attempt.”

The current outright record to sail around Britain and Ireland in a monohull yacht stands at 7 days 4 hours and was set in May 2004 onboard Solune. The record for an all female crew stands at 10 days and 16 hours, which was set by Samantha Davies and her crew onboard Roxy in June 2007. With the potential to break two records, Caffari and the crew of Aviva will be waiting for ideal weather conditions before setting off.

Samantha Davies added: “I can’t wait to get on the water and start chasing down the two records - I already hold the female crew title but I’m more than happy to break that with this team, and hopefully we can claim the outright record in the process. Dee and I became good friends during the Vendée Globe and with four other girls onboard Aviva as well I’m sure we won’t be short of conversation.”

Joining Caffari and Davies will be fellow Brits, offshore sailor Miranda Merron and boat captain Alex Sizer, German Figaro sailor Isabelle Joschke and freelance journalist Johanna Payton. The all female crew will be setting out in June but are waiting for the best weather window before deciding on an exact start date.

-ends-

For further information and interview requests contact:
Kelly Russell
Telephone: +44 (0)20 3128 6822
Mobile: +44 (0)7786 516570
E-mail: Kelly.russell@synergy-sponsorship.com

Website: www.avivaoceanracing.com

Notes to editors:

Aviva is the leading provider of life and pensions to Europe with substantial positions in other markets around the world, making it the world’s fifth largest insurance group based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2007

Aviva’s principal business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £49.2 billion and funds under management of £359 billion at 30 June 2008

The Aviva media centre at www.aviva.com/media includes images, company and product information and a news release archive

For broadcast-standard video, please visit www.thenewsmarket.com/aviva

Crew information:

Sam Davies
Aged 34, Samantha Davies made a dramatic entrance into the closed circle of solo sailors by achieving a remarkable feat during the Vendée Globe 2008/2009. Finishing 4th overall, first woman and first British skipper of the race, the Cambridge engineering graduate brought her boat Roxy (double Vendée Globe winner with Michel Desjoyeaux and then Vincent Riou at the helm) home first out of the older generation boats in the prestigious solo round the world race.

Even though the public might have discovered Sam during her round the world voyage, the offshore sailing community had already been keeping a close eye on the progress and talent of the most French of the British sailors (she lives in Kerlin in Brittany). A talented Figaro sailor, Sam has raced four times in the Solitaire du Figaro (2003 to 2006) and sailed on board Roxy in the last edition. She finished the 2007 Transat Jacques Vabre in 10th position (the first of the old generation boats to finish) with her friend and accomplice Jeanne Grégoire. She went to take the fifth place in the Transat Ecover B2B the same year, again onboard Roxy.

Before leaving Les Sables d’Olonne for her first solo round the world race, Sam Davies had already achieved a remarkable 5th place (and first British sailor) in the 2008 Artemis Transat with a sprint finish despite having collided with a whale.

www.samdavies.com

Miranda Merron
Miranda started sailing when she was five years old on the River Seine, south of Paris. Educated in England, she graduated from Cambridge University before going to work in advertising. Having opted for a change of career, Miranda has been sailing professionally for the past 12 years and has competed in solo, double-handed and fully-crewed races, including the Route du Rhum, Transat Jacques Vabre, Volvo Ocean Race and four laps around Britain & Ireland. She has spent the past two seasons racing the Class40 “40 Degrees”, winning the 2008 Championship.

Alex Sizer
Alex has been involved as preparateur and crew of professional offshore race campaigns for many years. Having raced in the BT Global Challenge as crew for Mike Golding, she has also spent several years working for Mike in the lead up to the Vendée Globe races in 2000 and 2008. She has spent the last two years working as Boat Captain of a Class 40 project, helping the project win 1st place in the 2008 Championship. At present she is overseeing the project of a New Class 40 to be launched in August of this year.

Isabelle Joschke
Practically a sailing novice only five years ago, Isabelle Joschke quickly moved up the ladder of ocean racing. Revelation of the Transat 6.50 in 2005, feared opponent in 2007, she made a remarkable entry onto the Figaro circuit last year when she brilliantly won a leg of the Cap Istanbul Race. Tenacious, determined, talented, this little woman, clear-headed, approaches her sailing job with enthusiasm and professionalism. In April, in the first race of the Figaro season, Isabelle finished 9th in the Transat BPE between Belle-Ile en Mer in France and Marie-Galante in the Caribbean. www.isabelle-joschke.com

Johanna Payton
Johanna Payton is a freelance journalist and author specialising in women’s consumer magazine content. Her features and real life interviews have appeared in national newspapers and magazines including The Times, The Sunday Times Style, The Guardian, Observer Woman, Guardian Weekend, Grazia, The Daily Express and Woman’s Own. www.johannapayton.co.uk

Western Union Acquisition Broadens Portfolio and Expands Global Payments Capabilities

Western Union Acquisition Broadens Portfolio and Expands Global Payments Capabilities

Addition of Business-to-Business Payments Provider Opens New Channels and New Customer Segments

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., May 07, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a leader in global payments, today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Canada-based Custom House, Ltd., a leading, independent provider of business-to-business international payment solutions for small and medium enterprises (SME). The US $370 million cash transaction is expected to close in the third quarter 2009, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

The international SME payments market is a large, growing and highly fragmented category. Today, Custom House is on plan to generate US $100 million in annualized revenue, primarily from senders in seven countries including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand. The company has built a sizable client base, significant international payment capabilities, a strong network of banking partners and scalable operations that are poised to capitalize on this opportunity. Custom House’s multi-channel payment solutions include their online platform, which provides reliable web-based payment capabilities to over 120 countries worldwide. These strengths will be enhanced by Western Union’s globally recognized brand, international footprint and financial strength.

Christina Gold, president and chief executive officer of Western Union, stated, “Custom House is a dynamic business and has a significant customer base in the cross-border payments market, which generates strong margins and cash flow. Western Union intends to grow this business by attracting new customers and entering new geographies.”

Strategic Rationale

The acquisition of Custom House supports Western Union’s strategic plan by:

Entering a new growth market and diversifying its product portfolio
Furthering Western Union’s presence in the SME payment market
Expanding its customer base
Building a global line of business
Establishing strong account-to-account transfer capabilities that complement Western Union’s existing cash-to-cash and account-to-cash expertise

Peter Gustavson, Custom House chairman and founder, stated, “We are extraordinarily proud of what the Custom House team has accomplished as an independent company and are excited about the increased potential that will come from leveraging our collective resources.”

Currently owned by Peter Gustavson and the Boston-based private equity firm Great Hill Partners, Custom House will become part of the Western Union Global Payments segment (formerly the consumer-to-business segment) on completion of the transaction, and continue to operate under its existing management team in Canada. For each of the past nine years, Custom House has been voted one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies.

Ranjana Clark, executive vice president of Global Payments and Global Strategy, stated, “Custom House is a highly complementary business with a proven operating model, seasoned management and differentiating technology. Custom House President and CEO Peter Ciceri and his team are known for providing clients with speed, accuracy and world-class customer service. We look forward to working closely with Custom House as we continue to grow this dynamic business.”

Custom House has been growing revenue at a 20% CAGR over the past three years. The Victoria-based company has a diverse international client base of nearly 40,000 customers with an average principal per transaction of approximately US$25,000. With a strong team of 630 employees worldwide, Custom House’s multi-channel delivery and recurring transaction-based business model has significant operating leverage.

The transaction will be funded by Western Union’s international cash on hand. For 2009, the acquisition is expected to be approximately $0.01 dilutive to Western Union’s earnings per share with the largest portion of the dilution attributable to the new accounting standard that requires expensing of transaction related costs. Additionally, this acquisition is expected to benefit 2009 revenue by less than 1%. The company’s outlook as reaffirmed on April 21, 2009 did not include the impact of this acquisition.

JP Morgan Securities, Inc., acted as financial advisor to Western Union. Financial Technology Partners, LP acted as financial advisor to Custom House.

Safe Harbor Compliance Statement for Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain statements that are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, our forward-looking statements. Words such as “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “guides,” “provides guidance,” “provides outlook” and other similar expressions or future or conditional verbs such as “will,” “should,” “would” and “could” are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Readers of this press release by The Western Union Company (the “Company,” “Western Union,” “we,” “our” or “us”) should not rely solely on the forward-looking statements and should consider all uncertainties and risks discussed throughout the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008. The statements are only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement.

Possible events or factors that could cause results or performance to differ materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements include the following: changes in general economic conditions and economic conditions in the geographic regions and industries in which we operate; adverse movements and volatility in capital markets and other events which affect our liquidity, the liquidity of our agents, or the value of, or our ability to recover our investments; changes in immigration laws, patterns and other factors related to migrants; technological changes, particularly with respect to e-commerce; the failure by us, our agents or subagents to comply with our business and technology standards and contract requirements or applicable laws and regulations, especially laws designed to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, and/or changing regulatory or enforcement interpretations of those laws; our ability to attract and retain qualified key employees and to manage our workforce successfully; changes in foreign exchange rates, including the impact of the regulation of foreign exchange spreads on money transfers; political conditions and related actions in the United States and abroad which may adversely affect our businesses and economic conditions as a whole; failure to maintain sufficient amounts or types of regulatory capital to meet the changing requirements of our various regulators worldwide; significantly slower growth or declines in the money transfer market and other markets in which we operate; failure to implement agent contracts according to schedule; our ability to maintain our agent network and biller relationships under terms consistent with or more advantageous to us than those currently in place; interruptions of United States government relations with countries in which we have or are implementing material agent contracts; deterioration in consumers’ and clients’ confidence in our business, or in money transfer providers generally; failure to manage credit and fraud risks presented by our agents and consumers or non performance of our financial services providers and insurance carriers; adverse rating actions by credit rating agencies; liabilities and unanticipated developments resulting from litigation and regulatory investigations and similar matters, including costs, expenses, settlements and judgments; changes in United States or foreign laws, rules and regulations including the Internal Revenue Code, and governmental or judicial interpretations thereof; our ability to favorably resolve tax matters with the Internal Revenue Service and other tax jurisdictions; changes in industry standards affecting our business; changes in accounting standards, rules and interpretations; failure to compete effectively in the money transfer industry with respect to global and niche or corridor money transfer providers, banks and other nonbank money transfer services providers, including telecommunications providers, card associations and card-based payment providers; our ability to grow our core businesses; our ability to develop and introduce new products, services and enhancements, and gain market acceptance of such products; our ability to protect our brands and our other intellectual property rights; our ability to manage the potential both for patent protection and patent liability in the context of a rapidly developing legal framework for intellectual property protection; any material breach of security of or interruptions in any of our systems; mergers, acquisitions and integration of acquired businesses and technologies into our company and the realization of anticipated synergies from these acquisitions; adverse consequences from our spin-off from First Data Corporation, including resolution of certain ongoing matters; decisions to downsize, sell or close units, or to transition operating activities from one location to another or to third parties, particularly transitions from the United States to other countries; decisions to change our business mix; cessation of various services provided to us by third-party vendors; catastrophic events; and management’s ability to identify and manage these and other risks.

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) is a leader in global payments. Together with its Orlandi Valuta and Vigo branded money transfer services, Western Union provides consumers with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, as well as send payments and purchase money orders. It operates through a network of more than 379,000 Agent locations in over 200 countries and territories. Famous for its pioneering telegraph services, the original Western Union dates back to 1851. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.

About Custom House

Custom House Ltd is a global payments company that offers extensive international payment solutions. Founded in 1992, Custom House has experienced rapid growth since the investment of Great Hill Partners, the Boston-based private equity firm, in February 2006. Today, Custom House is a worldwide leader in international payments.

www.customhouse.com

Western Union Honors Mother of the Year at Fonseca Concert, Awards $50,000 to Contest Winner

Western Union Honors Mother of the Year at Fonseca Concert, Awards $50,000 to Contest Winner

U.S. Serviceman Recognizes Mother for Lifelong Sacrifices

LOS ANGELES, May 07, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) — A mother’s love is universal and the ways to honor her on Mother’s Day are virtually endless. In recognition of the upcoming Mother’s Day celebrations throughout the world, The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) is honoring Beatriz Gamba, 72, a native of Colombia who lives in Boston, Mass. as the 2009 Western Union Mother of the Year.

“Whether you call your mother Mom, Mama or Mami, a mother’s love is understood in every language. Western Union knows that surprising Mom with cash, the perfect gift, will make the day extra special for any mother, anywhere,” said Victoria Lopez-Negrete, senior vice president product management, Western Union.

Rodrigo Gamba, 49, a U.S. Air Force chief master sergeant stationed in Peoria, Illinois, explained in his Western Union Mother of the Year Contest entry how his mother raised him, his sister and a mentally disabled brother, making great sacrifices to ensure that in spite of their humble beginnings they would have a better life.

“My mother’s love and devotion makes her the most amazing woman and mother I know,” said Gamba. “She suffered and persevered through insurmountable obstacles to make my sister and I who we are today; a testimony to her. She insisted that her children be educated and have the opportunities not available to her.”

Hispanic TV personality Ana Maria Canseco served in the panel of judges that selected Rodrigo Gamba’s entry as the Mother of the Year Contest winner.

“Beatriz’s story represents the struggles and sacrifices of many of our Hispanic mothers,” said Ana Maria Canseco. “I hope this prize money helps fulfill the dreams of both Rodrigo and his family, and that this Mother’s Day is unforgettable for Beatriz.”

The Gamba family will meet Latin Grammy Winner singer and songwriter Fonseca at 3:00 p.m. today at El Rey Theatre here, where Western Union is presenting the Fonseca Gratitur concert this evening.

Whether your mom lives around the corner or around the globe, a great way to send her the perfect gift of cash is through Western Union. In addition to the Mother of the Year Contest, Western Union consumers who send money from participating U.S. Agent locations by June 30 could also instantly win as much as four times the principal they send (up to $5,000). Senders may also receive discounts, including 50% off* their next qualifying Western Union(R) transaction. No purchase is necessary to enter or win. A transaction will not increase your chances of winning. Official rules are available at www.westernunion.com/giftrules.

“Each year, mothers look forward to getting cards, flowers and chocolates from their children on Mother’s Day. This year you can surprise and delight her with a gift that is totally unexpected, and one that will be wholeheartedly appreciated - the gift of cash,” added Lopez-Negrete.

The Western Union Company conducted the Mother of the Year Contest in April inviting U.S. residents to share their stories as to why their mothers deserved to be named the Western Union’s 2009 Mother of the Year, and receive a chance to win $50,000 cash.

* In addition to the transfer fee, Western Union also makes money when it changes your dollars into foreign currency.

About Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) is a leader in global money transfer services. Together with its Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded money transfer services, Western Union provides consumers with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, as well as send payments and purchase money orders. It operates through a combined network of more than 379,000 Agent locations in 200 countries and territories. Famous for its pioneering telegraph services, the original Western Union dates back to 1851. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.

Friends ProvidentPLC Director/PDMR Shareholding

Friends ProvidentPLC Director/PDMR Shareholding

TIDMFP.

Notification of interests of directors/persons discharging managerial
responsibility and connected persons pursuant to DTR 3.1.4 R(1)

7 May 2009

Friends Provident plc announces the transfer of 54,379 treasury shares from the
Treasury Shares Account to the trustees of the Friends Provident plc Share
Incentive Plan (SIP) at a price of GBP0.6226 per share to satisfy the obligation
to issue shares to SIP participants in April 2009.

On 6 May 2009, the Company received notifications from the following persons
discharging managerial responsibilities, that, of the 54,379 ordinary shares of
10p acquired by the trustees, they have each acquired shares through the SIP as
follows:

Name Shares purchased on Total number of shares held by persons
6 May 2009 discharging managerial responsibilities
and Connected Persons

S J Clamp 201 7,721

R G Ellis 201 25,135

R Sepe 201 30,016

Enquiries: Gordon Ellis, Group Secretary 0845 2683441