Providian Financial reported last week record fourth quarter net income of $94.9 million, a 78% increase over earnings per share for the fourth quarter of the prior year. Account growth climbed at an accelerated pace, with over 1.9 million new account relationships established during the quarter. This includes 600,000 accounts added through the acquisition of the Bravo card program in December, bringing Providian’s total managed accounts at the end of 1998 to 8 million, representing a 71% growth rate over year-end 1997. For the fourth quarter, the managed net credit loss rate, excluding acquired portfolios, was 6.54% versus 6.42% in the fourth quarter of 1997, while for all of 1998 the managed net credit loss rate, excluding acquisitions, was 6.33% versus 6.32% in 1997. Including the acquired portfolios, the total managed net credit loss rate was 7.58% in 1998, versus 6.32% for 1997. The 31+ day managed delinquency rate was 5.33% at year-end 1998. For complete 4Q/98 details on Providian visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).