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CU card portfolio sales continue at steady pace

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PORTLAND, Ore. (12/4/07)--Credit union card portfolio sales are steady, according to recent industry research. Forty-seven credit unions with credit card portfolios of more than $1 million in outstanding balances sold their balances during the first three quarters of 2007, according to Brookwood Capital (SourceMedia Nov. 23). AssetExchange, a credit card portfolio advisory and brokerage firm, also analyzed third-quarter trends and found that credit union cards are gaining strength in the market. For the 2,100 credit unions with card portfolios of $1 million or more, the average balance per account has grown by 11% to $2,347 from September 2006 to September 2007. During the same period, the percentage of portfolios that grew more than the rate of inflation increased 60%. Total card assets increased to $27.5 billion in September 2007 from $24.2 billion in September 2006, representing a hike of 13.8%. Twelve credit unions with portfolios of $1 million or more sold their portfolios during the third quarter of 2007, with a dollar volume of $40 million. Credit unions have managed to avoid the subprime mortgage crisis, according to Tim Kolk, Brookwood managing partner. Losses related to the subprime market may encourage some banks to increase card fees and interest rates to attract more profits. Credit unions’ lower card fees will be more attractive, he said.