Household International may expand its operations in Canada by issuing a cobranded credit card with a major Canadian retailer.

The Prospect Heights, Ill.-based issuer already offers financial retail products like home equity lines of credit in Canada through its Canadian subsidiary, Household Financial Corp., which runs 44 branches. It also manages many private-label programs for Canadian merchants.

Household, the sixth-largest card issuer in the United States with $11.1 billion in receivables, issues the highly successful General Motors credit card in the United States and United Kingdom.

Toronto-Dominion Bank offers the General Motors card in Canada, because General Motors wanted to work with one of the established credit card players in that market, said GM spokesman Dean Rotondo.

In an interview with Cards International, James Gorman, executive vice president of Household Credit Services, said Household is negotiating with a Canadian company to issue a cobranded credit card. There are only a handful of cobranded cards in Canada, including GE Capital's Canadian Tire Acceptance program, launched this summer.

Spokesman Howard Adamski said Household is not interested in expanding its credit card business beyond the markets in which it already has operations.

Two years ago Household entered the United Kingdom, where it was the first issuer to offer a cobranded card. Last year it signed an agreement with Banco Mexicano, a subsidiary of Grupo Financiero InverMexico SA, to issue credit cards to Mexican consumers.

But Mr. Adamski said, "International expansion is a low priority for us."

The U.K. operation, he said, is not intended to be a stepping- stone to enter other European markets.

Nevertheless, Household is one of only a few U.S. card issuers that have entered foreign markets.

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