Providian Financial Corp. plans to merge its two New Hampshire bank subsidiaries, the company said this week.

First Deposit National Bank of Tilton would absorb Providian National Bank of Concord and take its name. The plan awaits approval by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

"Having both boards of directors operating separately was extra work," said Jim Wunderman, a spokesman for San Francisco-based Providian. "We are constantly reviewing how we operate and function."

The new bank would be Providian's main card issuer.

Providian Corp., a Louisville-based insurance company, spun off Providian Financial several months ago. The spinoff's principal business is secured credit cards, and that's why it wants to go with the First Deposit charter.

Secured cards require a deposit to secure the credit line. First Deposit's charter lets its take deposits; Providian National's does not.

Ditching the First Deposit name has been under consideration for some time. Shailesh Mehta, chief executive officer of Providian Financial, said in a February interview that it was considering changing the First Deposit name to Providian.

But the idea wasn't to build up Providian's brand, Mr. Mehta said. "We haven't developed a strategy on branding yet," he said.

Providian Financial said this week that the bank merger would not result in staff reductions. The company also owns a card operations center in Concord, which would not be affected, and a small First Deposit branch in Belmont, N.H.; the branch would adopt the Providian name.

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