Bank One reported this morning that the net interest margin for the First USA credit card unit declined an estimated 40 basis points in the third quarter from the second quarter. The nation’s second largest bank credit card issuer also confirmed that growth of its credit card outstandings slowed significantly in the third quarter. Total managed loans (which includes private label cards) were $70.0 billion at Sept. 30, a 7% increase from one year ago and up 1% from the end of the second quarter. Bank One says actions are underway to reduce customer attrition and stabilize returns at First USA. The issuer opened 1,835,000 card accounts during the third quarter, sharply lower than the 2.5 million accounts opened during 3Q/98 and the 2.3 million accounts opened in 2Q/99. Delinquency (30+ day) also notched up for 3Q/99 to 4.74% from 4.30% in 2Q/99 and 4.50% in 3Q/98. The only good news is that chargeoffs declined to 5.33% from 5.43% one year ago. However chargeoffs inched up between the second quarter and the third quarter by eight basis points. At the end of the third quarter Bank One has 64,523,000 cardholders and third quarter volume of $29.6 billion. For more details on Bank One/First USA’s third quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).