Five credit unions with credit card portfolios worth more than $1 million sold their card portfolios in in the first half of 2011, according to an analysis of NCUA data conducted by TRK Advisors, a card portfolio consultancy headquartered in New Hampshire.
The consultancy reported that four of the five sales took place in the second quarter of the year and that the total balances sold for all five equaled $62 million.
As anemic as the sales are, the consultancy pointed out that they are the highest since 2009 and have already surpassed the even more anemic sales in 2010.
“It is not yet clear if this uptick is representative of increasing transaction levels to come or more reflects the go-forward, lower levels of portfolio sales when compared to the high water marks of 2004-2007,” the consultancy observed. “In those years sales often totaled more than 60 per year, accounting for hundreds of millions in portfolio balances.”
Despite anecdotal indications that more credit unions have been evaluating their portfolios with an eye toward selling them, the consultancy noted that the current low prices for card portfolios and the significantly smaller market has made closing sales considerably more difficult, the consultancy said.