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ARLINGTON, Va. – The struggle over credit unions’ card portfolios raged onward in 2002 as more institutions sold their portfolios to card specialty banks and credit union card advocates began fighting back. The debate over the reputability of credit unions selling their portfolios seemed partially settled after the Florida based PSCU Financial Services and Texas based TNB Card Services, two of the biggest advocates for credit unions keeping their portfolios, revealed that they had both begun either buying the portfolios themselves or serving as intermediaries for banks that bought them. While in Illinois, the Credit Union League actually started bidding on, and buying, a few portfolios with money individual credit unions invested for that purpose. But credit union card advocates like PSCU Financial Services and the Florida based Card Services for Credit Unions kept fighting back, offering products and services designed to help credit unions better manage and grow their card portfolios. However, as the year began to draw to a close it appeared the nation’s overall low interest rates had done more than their efforts to chill the pace of sales. Low yields elsewhere both diminished the attractiveness of credit card alternatives and burnished the appearance of the portfolios themselves, so 2002 went out with more a whimper than a bang.

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