AIB Group In Merchant Acquiring Joint Venture With First Data

Dublin, 14 November 2007 (www.AllPayNews.com) : Allied Irish Banks p.l.c. (AIB), with a market leadership position in financial services and card acquiring in the Republic of Ireland, and First Data Corp. (First Data), a global leader in electronic commerce and payment services, today announced that they have signed an agreement to form a merchant acquiring joint venture. The joint venture will trade as AIB Merchant Services in the Republic of Ireland.

The new joint venture, based in Dublin, will provide card acquiring services in the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe and will deliver additional products and services and enhanced functionality to AIB's 30,000 merchant customers. It will also provide a compelling service offering for new merchants, enabling further expansion of the bank's credit and debit card acquiring business.

AIB's card acquiring business in the Republic of Ireland will form the principal basis of the new joint venture. It is expected that for the year ended 31 December 2007, AIB's card acquiring businesses in Ireland and in the UK will process approximately 140 million and 13 million transactions respectively.

Completion of the transaction is conditional upon competition approval, which is expected before the end of this year. As part of the agreement, First Data will have an option to enable the joint venture to acquire AIB's card acquiring business in the UK. The total value of the gross assets of the Irish and UK businesses is approximately