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DALLAS – Was Rick Spell out of place at a TNB Card Services conference? Spell, a managing director with Morgan Keegan, a firm that brokers credit union card portfolios, addressed a TNB conference on March 9. TNB has urged credit unions to keep their card portfolios. “We had Rick Spell to address our Executive Conference because we recognize that some of our client credit unions are considering this option and felt they needed to hear the information,” explained Glen Lee, senior vice president with TNB, the card servicing arm of credit union owned Town North Bank. Lee said that TNB, which purchased roughly 20 credit union card portfolios in 2003, had used Spell’s firm, which provides financial analysis as well brokerage services, in some of its purchases. TNB also provides card management advice and services for credit unions that retain the ownership of their portfolios. Neither Spell’s message, which sought to reassure card executives about common fears of card portfolio sales, nor its purchase of card portfolios means that TNB has changed its message, Lee said. “We still believe that only a minority of credit unions will want to sell,” Lee said. “But we have to confront the reality that they are thinking about selling.”

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