Powerchex to Participate in the CITI Small Business Partnership Programme

Citi, East London Business Place and Canary Wharf Group plc. launch the first CITI Small Business Partnership at the Museum in Docklands. Pre-employment screening company Powerchex is one of the 15 East London companies participating in the programme.

London, United Kingdom, September 30, 2008 --(PR.com)-- Citi, East London Business Place and Canary Wharf Group plc. have come together to offer small businesses in East London the resources to grow and become more sustainable. This partnership will bring together Citi’s talented new Graduate Analysts and successful small businesses in a programme that is designed to benefit the local business community.

The partnership was launched last night a reception at the Museum in Docklands and introduced by John Harker, Citi’s Head of HR (EMEA), Yannis Batsakoutsas, Citi’s Graduate Development Manager and Gay Harrington, Canary Wharf Group plc, Social & Economic Development Manager and ELBP Director.

Powerchex will be one of 15 companies participating in the programme; 150 Graduate Analysts from Citi have also signed up to donate their time and skills for the next 12 months.

“This partnership is a great opportunity for small businesses in East London. Local business growth boosts the local economy and leads to increased employment opportunities for local residents.”, says Gay Harrington, Social & Economic Development Manager of Canary Wharf Group plc and Director of East London Business Place. She adds “Canary Wharf Group has supported the local business community for over a decade through the free services of its Local Business Liaison Office (LBLO), which has helped local companies to secure over £532 million of business since its inception in 1997 and has now been extended to become the East London Business Place (ELBP).”

CITI’s Small Business Partnership Programme is the first of its kind in the UK. Described as “an experiment”, it has the potential of creating real value both for the hosting companies as well as for the participating analysts.

Yannis Batasakoutsas, Citi’s Graduate Development Manager says: “The main aim of this programme is to assist small companies grow and become self sustainable as well as provide an opportunity for our analysts to develop, both personally and institutionally.”

Powerchex’s Managing Director Alexandra Kelly commented: "We are very excited that we have been selected to participate in this programme. We are committed to making sure that our analysts gain from the experience by broadening their horizons and ultimately becoming better qualified in their chosen careers.”

Powerchex is well known for its award winning pre-employment screening services within the financial services sector. The company has experienced phenomenal growth since its foundation in 2004 and has established itself in the forefront of thought leadership in the field of pre-employment screening.

Notes to Editors:
About Powerchex
Powerchex is the UK’s premier pre-employment screening firm for financial institutions. Based in the City of London, Powerchex checks the background, employment history, criminal records and professional qualifications of applicants on behalf of financial institutions. It sets the industry benchmark of 5 days for a background check.

About Citi
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Citi's major brand names include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, Banamex, and Nikko. Additional information may be found at www.citi.com.

About Canary Wharf Group plc
The prime function of CWG is the building and leasing of Grade A office and retail space at its 97 acre estate in east London. Over the last twenty years, it has constructed more office space in London than any other property group totalling over 14 million sq. ft of commercial space. CWG has had a longstanding commitment to its community through activities in the fields of education, employment, training and business support.

About East London Business Place
The East London Business Place (ELBP) is a private/public partnership led by CWG, supported by East London Business Alliance and funded by the London Development Agency. This local procurement project is based on CWG’s successful Local Business Liaison Office. ELBP covers the ten London Thames Gateway boroughs offering a free face to face business support service that drives and maximises opportunities for local businesses to engage in the development of East London and the Thames Gateway through sourcing and matching local suppliers to buyers across all industry sectors, plus a full programme of capacity building activities.

Andrew McIntosh
Powerchex Limited
Gun Court, 70 Wapping Lane
London E1W 2RD