New Deal Signals The Demise Of The CreditCard Bank

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NEW YORK - (08/05/05) -- HSBC Finance Corp. said Thursday ithas agreed to acquire credit card issuer Metris Companies Inc. for$1.6 billion. Metris, based in Minnetonka, Minn., is the thirdmajor credit card bank purchased in the last three months.Washington Mutual Inc., the Seattle-based thrift, has agreed to buyProvidian Financial Corp. for $6.5 billion, and Bank of America hasagreed to purchase MBNA Corp. for $35 billion. Metris, a Visa andMasterCard issuer, is the nation's 11th largest issuer with $5.9billion in receivables. HSBC Finance, also a Visa and MasterCardissuer, is the nation's sixth-largest issuer.

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