<p>I appreciated reading David Morrison’s story in the May 15th issue of Credit Union Times, “Any Alternatives: Deese defends sale of The Credit Union of Palm Beach County CU’s credit card portfolio to MBNA.” He addressed many of the misconceptions about selling a credit card portfolio. Many people in this industry, particularly those who oppose selling card portfolios, are extremely concerned that credit unions are being taken advantage of by portfolio acquirers. I have two things to say. First, consider who it is that is in opposition to credit unions selling. In the case of Mr. Morrison’s story, it is a company that stands to lose revenue whenever a client credit union sells a card portfolio. I certainly don’t blame them for their concern, but their advice should be accepted with a grain of salt. Second, the credit card portfolio market is extremely competitive right now. Credit unions have never had more favorable conditions in which to sell a portfolio, which lends tremendous opportunity to leverage the competition to obtain and review multiple offers. A credit card portfolio larger than $4 million should be able to obtain four or more competitive offers. When a credit union has choices, it has the opportunity to obtain the best price, terms, and a partnership that can benefit the members. NCUA Regulation 703.80 addresses what credit unions must do in order to value their securities. It requires that federal credit unions obtain price quotations from at least two broker-dealers prior to purchasing or selling a security. I believe this same logic should be applied when a credit union is valuing its card portfolio prior to a sale; know what your portfolio is really worth in the marketplace before you negotiate its sale. David Bartoo VP, Portfolio Management AssetExchange, Inc. Portland, Oregon</p>

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