Column Was Right On The Mark

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I liked Frank Diekmann's column and his experience after his credit card was sold as part of a portfolio sale by his credit union, and especially the clarity of identifying the membership relationship itself as key to the credit union "core competency" (CU Journal, Oct. 27).

As the leading independent broker of card portfolios for credit unions we hate to hear such stories: it reinforces that no card portfolio should be sold without getting multiple competitive offers (so terms can be compared) and assurance of how communication will occur- and Mr. Diekmann's column helps alert credit unions to this.

So why consider selling at all with this risk? Well, another two pieces of "core competency" for CU's are (a) providing products members want, and (b) staying in the black. For a certain number of perfectly fine credit unions, they can do neither with their card portfolios.

What bothers me is that some credit unions sell in a way that does not serve them or their members well. For example, selling to an unsolicited offer without engendering competition or having expertise to improve the deal they and their members get. If your credit union has sold well then (a) you now have better card products, (b) the CU (and thus members) benefited financially, and (c) you would not have received a call like the one Mr. Diekmann did. How a credit union sells and negotiates is really as important as whether they sell.

Frank Selker

President, Asset Exchange

Portland, Ore.

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