An Independent Bankers Association of America affiliate has named a chief executive officer for the card-issuing bank it plans to open this summer.
The executive, bank marketing and credit card veteran Michael Hosemann, will play a key role in the association's effort to give community banks a collective ownership stake in their card programs.
IBAA Bancard, the affiliate that coordinates the trade group's card program, said it will soon make its charter application to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for Total Card Management Bank. It will be located in St. Petersburg, Fla., the home of the processing organization Equifax Payment Services.
Until the bank opens, Mr. Hosemann, 56, who joined the company Feb. 3, will be based at IBAA's Washington office.
"Michael brings a tremendous amount of experience in the credit card industry," said Linda F. Echard, president and chief executive officer of IBAA Bancard. "He ran a large agent bank program in Louisiana and has a very strong marketing background."
Mr. Hosemann has spent more than 25 years in financial services, the last five as senior vice president and head of the bank card division at South-Trust Corp., Birmingham, Ala.
Before that he was senior vice president, corporate marketing, at Interstate/Johnson Lane Corp., a stockbrokerage in Charlotte, N.C. For 14 years he managed marketing and bank card divisions for Premier Bancorp in Baton Rouge, La.
"Community banks have to be extremely versatile in their product offerings," Mr. Hosemann said in a telephone interview. The IBAA bank "will help those who do not have the resources to effectively compete in the card business."
The program is designed to bolster each participating bank's brand identity and customer retention record by having its name printed on the MasterCard and Visa cards it sells. But Total Card Management Bank will hold the receivables.
John A. Costa, senior vice president of Cardholder Management Services, Plainview, N.Y., sees it as more of a "defensive move for smaller banks. It makes sense, but ultimately I don't think it will be very successful" in preventing cardholder defections.
Banks in the program could ease their regulatory burden because receivables would be off their balance sheets, Mr. Costa said. And he pointed out that the interest rates on cards could be "exported" from Florida and could be higher than those available in the member banks' home states.