Pretax earnings at Providian Bancorp equaled 40% of the operating profits last year of its parent company, the Louisville-based insurance holding company Providian Corp.

Providian Bancorp's pretax earnings rose 27.4% last year, to $150 million. It was the eighth consecutive year in which the San Francisco- based consumer bank, an innovator in credit card micromarketing noted for superior credit quality, boosted income by 20% or more.

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