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Marlborough Stirling Canada receives CICA 5970 accreditation from Price Waterhouse Coopers

March 9, 2006 — Bill Pitkin, Marlborough Stirling Canada (MSC) President and CEO, is pleased to announce that MSC’s hosted mortgage services have successfully passed, on first review, a CICA 5970 audit for the controls over its application service provision (ASP) operations and information technology infrastructure.

Bill Pitkin comments: "Marlborough Stirling Canada is committed to ensuring quality in all areas of our operations. This accreditation provides assurance to our clients that our services, and their assets and information, are appropriately safeguarded against error, loss or inadvertent disclosure. We make the commitment in our service contract, and I am pleased that our team has come through with a positive report on the first pass. Marlborough Stirling Canada is also pleased to become one of the very few technology companies in this market to obtain this accreditation."

The audit was undertaken by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) to ensure compliance with the standards set out in the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) handbook, section 5970 - Audit Reports on Controls at a Service Organization. Adherence to CICA 5970 standards is an OSFI requirement for outsourcing service providers. Under the CICA 5970 audit, Marlborough Stirling Canada’s compliance to each of the following was examined and reported on: administration and organization, software development, change management, security and operational controls.

Bill Pitkin adds: "This is a significant point of differentiation from our competitors and provides tangible proof of our dedication to meeting the demands of our clients from an operational control perspective. We are a service organization with a culture that emphasizes the importance of quality assurance in all that we do. With the rise in outsourcing among financial services providers and the vital role that service providers such as ourselves play in the success of those ventures, the standards we employ on a daily basis are very often critical to ensuring that security, technical infrastructure and operational objectives are met at all times. I am proud to say that within the Canadian mortgage industry, there is no other provider that matches this accomplishment."

The scope of this audit pertains specifically to the control objectives related to MSC’s application service provision delivery for its customers, and covers the control activities related to the maintenance, safeguarding and operations of its IT infrastructure.

About Marlborough Stirling Canada

Marlborough Stirling Canada’s focus is on mortgage origination and administration, offering a complete range of hosted and licensed software implementations capable of achieving seamless straight through processing of mortgage business from initial customer inquiry to final loan discharge.

Marlborough Stirling Canada is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vertex Financial Services ( Vertex is an international business process outsourcer based in Manchester, UK, with particular expertise in customer management. Vertex develops and implements a range of service solutions including transformational outsourcing, combining its skills in consulting, technology and outsourced service provision to stimulate and facilitate business change and flexibility.

Vertex is part of United Utilities plc, a FTSE 100 company, and works in partnership with clients in the commercial, financial services, utility and public sectors, as well as the North American utility sector, to deliver operational and customer service excellence. Vertex has 9,000 employees based in 69 locations across the UK, Canada, the USA, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and India.

For more information

Bill Pitkin
President and CEO
Marlborough Stirling Canada
(T) 416-620-2672