BofA Q4 Charge-Offs Top 9% Due to Bankruptcies

Bank of America’s credit card loans grew 4% year-on-year in the fourth quarter with $60.8 billion in balances, but, charge-offs ballooned to 9.49%. The issuer says the impact of the change in bankruptcy laws and changes in its practices for overdraft charge-offs and over-limit credit card fees reduced pre-tax results by about $320 million. BofA completed its merger with MBNA on January 1st. The issuer reported that debit card revenue increased 32% due to a 29% increase in purchase volume. BofA says more than 1.1 million customers signed up for the “Keep the Change” program, which provides a free savings feature tied to a debit card. Fourth quarter credit card charge-offs were 9.49%, compared to 5.74% in the prior quarter, and 5.90% one year ago. The managed 30+ day delinquency was 4.17%, compared to 4.59% in the third quarter and 4.37% for 4Q/04. BofA also reported that its merchant acquiring business handled $101.6 billion in processing volume during the fourth quarter from total transactions of 2.3 billion. For complete details on Bank of America’s 4Q/05 performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

BOFA EOP CARD LOAN HISTORICAL
4Q/03: $36.6 billion
1Q/04: $37.3 billion
2Q/04: $52.0 billion
3Q/04: $55.4 billion
4Q/04: $58.6 billion
1Q/05: $57.9 billion
2Q/05: $59.3 billion
3Q/05: $59.7 billion
4Q/05: $60.8 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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Minacs Worldwide Names Croucher to the Board

Toronto-based Minacs Worldwide has named Christine Croucher, formerly with CIBC and Canadian Tire Acceptance, to its Board and audit committee. Croucher has had an outstanding 26-year career, during which time she has taken charge of initiatives such as high-growth strategies, financial planning and management, as well as sales management and has also served as a Board member of Visa Canada, Visa International, Juniper (a US credit card company) and Interac Association. Minacs provides customized business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions focused on three core areas of capability: contact center solutions, integrated marketing services, and back office administration.

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GECF Forms a Major Taiwan Alliance

GE Consumer Finance has agreed to make a strategic investment in Cosmos Bank, a major banking and consumer finance player in Taiwan, forming a strategic alliance. Under the agreement, GE Consumer Finance will acquire a 10% stake in Cosmos through a share subscription of 197 million common shares, at an aggregate price of $86 million. GE Consumer Finance will retain rights to increase its total stake in Cosmos to 24.9% at a later point through a convertible bond structure. Cosmos has assets of approximately US$7.9 billion.

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EFTA Names its Prepaid Card Association

The Electronic Funds Transfer Association announced that the “Network Branded Prepaid Card Association” is now the official name of the trade organization recently formed to represent the common interests of the many participants in the new and emerging branded prepaid card industry, replacing the “Branded Prepaid Card Association” The consultation came in the form of a series of meetings held in October 2005, during which almost 100 prepaid industry leaders, ranging from incentive marketing firms to healthcare providers to financial institutions, shared their perspectives on a wide range of issues. The Electronic Funds Transfer Association is a professional association of organizations dedicated to the advancement of electronic payment systems and commerce.

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AmEx Opens Talks with the TSA Traveler Program

American Express Business Travel has started to actively solicit bids from service providers for the TSA “Registered Traveler Program” on behalf of its clients. These service providers will supply the identity verification technologies to expedite security screening for frequent fliers. In summer 2006, the TSA will begin operating its Registered Traveler Program nationwide as a fee-funded cooperative between private industry and the federal government. The technology provider(s) selected by American Express Business Travel will adhere to the standards established and administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s TSA, as well as American Express’ requirements.

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Conquest Financial to Sell Lipman Terminals

Lipman USA has inked a distribution agreement with Conquest Financial to sell Lipman’s “NURIT 2159” Electronic Cash Register and the “NURIT 222” PIN Entry Device. In addition, Conquest will purchase licenses for Lipman’s NURIT Store, a web-based solution that provides end users with full-featured store management functionality including back-end reporting and product management capabilities. Lipman is a leading worldwide provider of electronic payment systems.

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CyberSource Corporation Promotes Glaser

CyberSource has promoted David Glaser, formerly with IBM Global Services, EDS, and Compaq, as VP of worldwide professional services. Glaser is a leading authority on eCommerce payment, security and fraud management process design and implementation. He has been at CyberSource for over five years. Prior to CyberSource, Glaser held key consulting positions with professional service organizations including IBM Global Services, EDS, and Compaq. CyberSource Corporation is a leading provider of electronic payment and risk management solutions.

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Bank of Hawaii Sells AmEx Card Portfolio to MBNA

Bank of Hawaii has inked a deal for MBNA to acquire its existing American Express credit card accounts and enter into an agent relationship. Under terms of the deal, Bank of Hawaii will offer VISA and AmEx credit cards to consumers and VISA credit cards to businesses. Bank of Hawaii anticipates introducing the new credit cards in the third quarter. In December of 2000, AmEx signed agreements to acquire the VISA credit card portfolio of Bank of Hawaii. The BOH portfolio included 148,000 consumer and business accounts, with receivables of approximately $226 million. Under terms of the 2000 agreement, AmEx issued and marketed Bank of Hawaii-branded American Express Cards to the bank’s customer base. The 2000 deal produced a strong response from VISA. (CF Library 12/21/00)

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