New CU Bank To Offer Credit Card AgentProgram

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SALT LAKE CITY - (01/26/05) -- Four commercial players in thecredit union market have joined together to offer an agent programto credit unions that no longer want to manage their own creditcard program, or for small credit unions looking to issue their owncards. The new company, Union Financial Services Corp., hasacquired an industrial loan company (industrial bank) charter inUtah and will acquire credit union card portfolios or enter intoagent relationships, much like industry leaders MBNA, InfiCorp, andmore recently, TNB Card Services, have done in recent years. Thestate chartered bank will be majority owned by Card Services forCUs, with minority stakes owned by CUNA Mutual Group, Certegy CardServices and Corporate One FCU, the Columbus, Ohio, corporatecredit union. The operation has been capitalized with $10 millionand has acquired the ILC charter, old offices and technologyinfrastructure of Sears Commercial Card operations, which was soldto Citibank for $3.5 billion last year in one of the biggest carddeals ever. The inclusion of the credit union entities is expectedto give the new operation fast entry into the credit union market,according to Wally Jensen, a long-time credit card banker who willhead the operation. "We don't think we're too late for the market.We still think there's room for us," Jensen told The Credit UnionJournal.

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