Sub-prime leader Providian Financial reported this morning first quarter earnings of $230.5 million, compared to earnings of $174.3 million for 1Q/00, a 32% increase. Total managed loans increased by $1.3 billion to $28.4 billion and customer accounts grew to 17.1 million, a 31% increase over the end of the first quarter of 2000. The managed net credit loss rate in the first quarter was 9.34% versus 8.48% in the fourth quarter of 2000 and 7.18% one year ago. The 30+ day managed delinquency rate was 7.64% at quarter end, compared to 7.52% at year-end 2000 and 5.72% for 1Q/00. Providian says it expects moderating delinquency trends to lead to an improved credit loss rate in the second half of the year after it peaks in the second quarter of 2001. Providian is the nation’s sixth largest issuer of bank credit cards, and the fifth largest VISA and MasterCard issuer according to CardData. For additional info on Providian’s 1Q/01 performance and other historical data visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).