Analysis Says 67 Portfolios Sold

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A new analysis of credit union credit card portfolios suggests that during 2004 67 credit unions with more than $1 million in credit card balances sold their credit card portfolios. That figure, provided by Brookwood Capital, is two higher than the 65 portfolios-sold figure that AssetExchange, Portland, Ore., had reported in its analysis.

Tom Kolk, managing partner of Brookwood Capital, which assists credit unions with financial analyses and strategic reviews, said the figure is up from the 59 credit unions that sold their card portfolios in 2003. Kolk said that 2,214 CUs have card programs, and that every year roughly 2% to 3% sell their card portfolios.

According to Brookwood Capital, last year's biggest buyers of credit union card portfolios were InfiCorp and Town North Bank, a Dallas-based, credit union-owned bank. However, MBNA Corp., while closing fewer sales, made much larger purchases, Kolk said. MBNA bought nine card portfolios with $196 million in receivables through third quarter. During the same period, InfiCorp bought 18 card portfolios with $100 million in receivables.

The number of card receivables purchased last year totaled $459 million, an increase from $419 million during 2003. Last year's average portfolio size was $6.9 million, a decrease from $7.1 million the year before, according to Brookfield Capital.

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