Analysis: Card Penetration Sliding

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Analysis of third quarter data indicates that the penetration rate of credit union-issued credit cards among members continues to slip, although overall outstandings appear steady.

AssetExchange, a portfolio brokerage firm that helps credit unions to sell card portfolios, said its research shows the penetration rate of credit cards among members has declined to 18.5% as of Sept. 30, 2004, down from 19% one year earlier.

Credit cards as a percentage of total assets remained at 4.1% from September 2003 to September 2004. According to AssetExchange, the percentage of credit card portfolios that grew more than inflation in the preceding 12 months increased to 48% as of Sept. 30 from 32% in September 2003. The values are based on NCUA 5300 call reports for credit card portfolios larger than $1 million for each time period reported.

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