People's Bank of Bridgeport, Conn., has restructured its credit card division, shifting several executives and separating the business from the rest of the $6.7 billion-asset thrift.
The credit card program has grown 40% a year on average for the past five years. At the end of the second quarter, card receivables totaled $2.3 billion.
"Creation of an internal credit card subsidiary recognizes the importance of this business to the bank and that it requires a clear and separate focus from our Connecticut operations," said David E.A. Carson, president and chief executive of People's Bank.
John A. Klein, executive vice president of consumer banking, will keep his title, but he will be in charge of the new credit card services division.
Mr. Klein will not have responsibility for other consumer products. Senior vice president Bryan Huebner will succeed Mr. Klein in that area, overseeing a new division called consumer financial services.
Mark K. Vitelli, first vice president of credit cards, will continue to report to Mr. Klein in his new post as senior vice president of cards. He will be in charge of the U.S. card business.
Ronald T. Urquhart will remain senior vice president and continue to report to Mr. Klein, but his primary responsibility will be international operations.
For the past year, Mr. Urquhart, who had run the U.S. card business, has been overseeing the People's card start-up in the United Kingdom.
"Our Connecticut strategy is logically different from the efforts done on a national and international basis," said Jane S. Sharpe, a spokeswoman for People's.
The new credit card division will move two blocks from People's Bridgeport headquarters to accommodate the growth that has added more than 100 people to its staff in the last two years.
Ms. Sharpe also said the thrift has no intention of spinning off its card business into a separate legal subsidiary.