Providian reported Tuesday that its charge-off rate has declined for the past three months and that its delinquency rate declined during February. The issuer’s managed charge-off rate declined to 17.00%, compared to 18.00% in January, and 18.79% in December. The managed delinquency (30+ days) rate was 10.77% for February, down from January’s 11.25% rate. The Company’s managed net credit loss rate was 17.34% for 4Q/02, compared to 16.71% in the previous quarter, and 12.70% one year ago. The average charge-off rate among the nation’s top ten issuers for the fourth quarter was 8.07%, according to CardData. The managed 30+ day delinquency rate for Providian at the end of the fourth quarter was 11.11%, compared to 11.23% at the end of the third quarter, and 8.81% one year ago. The average delinquency (30+ days) rate among the nation’s top ten issuers for the fourth quarter was 6.62%, according to CardData. Providian ended the 2002 with $20.0 billion in total managed credit card loans and 12.0 million accounts, according to updated information furnished to CardData ([www.carddata.com]).