Fitch Ratings yesterday downgraded the Metris Master Trust Class A/B/C notes, affecting approximately $4.2 billion of $8.8 billion credit card backed securities issued from the trust. Fitch says the rating actions primarily reflect persistent weakness and expected further deterioration of key performance variables as well as the challenging financial and regulatory environment in which Metris’ continues to operate. Fitch says credit quality has worsened significantly beyond its original expectations and continues to deteriorate. In September, gross charge-offs reached 16.83%, compared to an average of 12.8% in 2001 and 11.18% in 2000. In addition, late stage delinquencies reached 11.1% in the latest period. For complete details on Metris/Direct Merchants Bank quarterly performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).