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The Herald: Shell adds 150 jobs in Glasgow as accounts services are expanded

SIMON BAIN
August 17 2007

Shell has announced a further expansion of its financial shared service operation in Glasgow, creating up to 150 accountancy jobs.

The Glasgow operation already employs almost 500 staff, providing accounting services to Shell’s businesses worldwide.

Shell was revealed earlier this year to be one of the biggest recipients in the final round of regional selective assistance (RSA), with a £1m grant over two years based on the creation of 100 jobs in Glasgow’s international financial services district.

Shell said yesterday that Scottish Executive’s willingness last year to fund part of the start-up cost of up to £1.3m – depending on the number of new jobs actually created – has ensured that Glasgow will continue to benefit from the oil giant’s continuing expansion of the division.

The centre opened in 1998 and serves Shell’s operations in 12 countries. It already employs people from 34 different countries, where employees speak 23 different languages.

Shell had last year said it was reviewing the future of its Scottish base in the face of competition from rival Shell centres in Poland, Nicaragua and the Philippines, and that the RSA grant had secured the then 350 jobs and enabled the total to head towards the current 500.

Alistair MacWilliam, the centre’s general manager said: “I am extremely grateful to the Scottish Executive for the award and for the ongoing support we receive from Scottish Enterprise and I am pleased that Shell will contribute even more to the level and quality of Glasgow’s growing financial services sector.”

He said many of the new opportunities would be attractive to qualified accountants.

Grants to multinationals have come in for criticism in the past. The final RSA rounds before the funding rules were changed this year included grants totalling £10m to JP Morgan, Dell Computers and HSBC for job creation in Scotland.

However, Scottish Development International defended the award to Shell, saying it validated public agency efforts to “spread the message of Scotland’s excellence in the fields of financial services and the availability of highly- qualified foreign language speakers”, and signified “a long-term commitment from Shell to maintain and develop this highly valuable business in the city”.

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