American Express has been the biggest private employer in Brighton since its European headquarters opened in 1977.

It provides good jobs for thousands of people and makes a valuable social contribution to the city too.

So there were worries when rumours spread last year that Amex was thinking of cutting jobs in Sussex following the opening of a call handling centre in India where costs are far lower.

These fears have been allayed today by Caroline Lombardelli, head of customer services in Europe.

She says Amex has no plans to move its operations from Brighton and that people should not worry about job security.

That's good news for them and for the city as a whole. Amex provides commercial solidity in a generally fragile economy.

Let's hope that rather than running down its services in Brighton, Amex continues to expand them.