BIDDEFORD, Me. – The $84 million Ocean Communities Credit Union has sold its 1,200 account credit card portfolio, worth $2.3 million to a buyer the credit union would not officially disclose but whom sources familiar with such credit card portfolio sales said is MBNA. Asset Exchange, based in Portland, Oregon, brokered the sale. As of press time neither MBNA nor Kessler had confirmed that MBNA had bought the portfolio. MBNA, the large Delaware-based card issuer, generally buys credit card portfolios through Kessler Financial Services, but credit card sources said that it would be highly unlikely for MBNA to use only one source for its portfolio buys. Credit union CFO, Paul Peterson, said that Ocean, which processed its card transactions through Certegy, was not a member of Card Services for Credit Unions and had not addressed any of the credit union based options for improving portfolio performance before the sale. "We had seen the portfolio's balances decline over the last five years," Peterson said, "and we felt we were at a crossroads. It was either put a lot more resources into managing the portfolio or sell it." Peterson said the credit union did not feel it was able to compete with the large credit card issuers in terms of rates, bonus programs or marketing.

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