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PORTLAND, Ore. – AssetExchange, a leading brokerage for credit union card portfolios, said the market for those portfolios, which looks to come in slower to flat in 2005 after having begun more strongly, said that there are reasons the market may pick up or continue to be flat in 2006. Among the reasons the firm cites for possible higher sales, are a margin squeeze brought about by rising interest rates, increased liquidity and capital needs on the part of credit unions and a rising cost of fraud or fraud prevention tools in comparison with large issuers. In addition, the brokerage noted that cards continue to lose ground as an overall part of credit union assets. Among the reasons the firm cites for continuing slow portfolio sales are portfolio growth as more consumers turn away from refinancing and back toward other consumer credit. An improving economy may also cause loan losses to decline and improve card portfolio profitability, the firm said.

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