BankAmerica Corp. has put its last consumer finance unit on the block.
The San Francisco banking company said it is trying to sell Executive/Professional Services, an Aurora, Colo., subsidiary that offers business executives unsecured credit through nationwide direct mail.
The unit has receivables of about $600 million and employs 70.
"We felt the capital we invested in this business can be used more productively," said BankAmerica spokeswoman Betty J. Riess.
Ms. Riess said the bank is in talks with potential buyers, but she declined to reveal who they were or what kind of price BankAmerica hoped to get.
Analysts said the unit could sell for $150 million to $200 million.
Executive/Professional Services is the last piece of BankAmerica's consumer finance division, Security Pacific Financial Services.
Commercial Credit Co., a Baltimore subsidiary of Travelers Group Inc., bought most of that division in July for $1.6 billion.
BankAmerica, which last month announced it would merge with NationsBank Corp. of Charlotte, N.C., has been selling units that have not met its profitability goals.
In April the $265.4 billion-asset banking company sold its manufactured housing unit, BankAmerica Housing Services, to GreenPoint Financial Corp. for about $700 million and took a $112 million charge last year when it withdrew from Chicago-area supermarkets.
BankAmerica has also wanted to sell its 166 branches in Texas. But because NationsBank has operations there, those branches will probably be retained.
These sales are "consistent with BankAmerica's ongoing strategy of selling businesses that are below hurdle rates of return," said Joseph K. Morford, an analyst at Van Kasper & Co., San Francisco.
BankAmerica cited a further reason for selling Executive/Professional Services, however. The consumer finance unit did not fit with the company's strategy for unsecured credit lines.
"Our credit card operation has been primarily focused on relationship products that build off of our retail branch network," Ms. Riess said. "This unit provides a niche product that is marketed through direct mail."
Executive/Professional's most recent offering is "Private Reserve," a $50,000 line of credit with a low introductory interest rate. The product, which is available through June 15, is targeted at "today's leading executives and professionals" nationwide.
Customers who sign up for the deal get a supply of checks to draw against the credit line. They would pay 5.99% interest for the first six months, after which they would pay that amount plus the prime rate.
Ms. Riess said it was unclear what would happen to this latest offering or the unit's employees after Executive/Professional Services is sold. "That is going to be up to the buyer," she said.