TMG Financial Services, the card portfolio purchasing and agent issuing arm of the The Members Group, said it grew from both additional card portfolio purchases and from card use last year.
The CUSO reported that Community 1st Credit Union and Jersey Shore Federal Credit Union had sold it their credit card portfolios in 2010 and that, combined with card use, lifted the CUSO's card balances by 9.5%. This significantly outpaced the pace of credit card balance growth in credit unions overall and strongly outpaced the overall card industry which often saw balances dip in 2010.
"Coming into 2010, we knew portfolio sales would be down from the previous year due to the uncertainty of the CARD Act, yet we could also see there was potential to grow our portfolio as consumers were seeking alternatives to big bank issuers, " said Jeff Russell, president and CEO of TMGFS.
The CUSO reported that it doubled the number of new accounts generated in 2010 over 2009, results largely attributed to a highly successful acquisition direct mail campaign. The card CUSO ended the year with $118 million in assets and more than 50,000 accounts under managemen, it said.
Despite consumers drawing down their outstanding credit, Russell said he expects the TMGFS portfolio to continue to produce above industry average growth in both new accounts and balances.
"When we started the company, we knew we'd have to have strong organic growth and not just rely on credit card portfolio acquisitions," Russell said. "We have created, and continue to expand upon, a credit card product that is truly member-friendly. It is a message that continues to resonate with credit unions across the country."