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The recent announcement by Wescom Credit Union of its planned entry into the credit card portfolio purchase arena is welcome news for credit unions. Wescom, through the planned acquisition of Silvergate Bank, ILC, joins TBN in Texas as a viable credit union-owned alternative to bank-controlled card portfolio buyers. We can expect the bank trade associations to oppose this development. The fact they do not like this news is reason alone for credit unions to look at this favorably. It also points out the need for credit unions to evaluate their business partners. Many of the players credit unions are selling their credit card portfolios to are owned by banks. Wescom’s enterprising entry into credit card portfolio purchasing creates another reason not to sell to banks. Banks like to do business with credit unions. They make profits off credit union deposit spreads and fees, and from ownership of processing companies. On the other hand, banks rarely utilize credit unions for depositing excess liquidity. I applaud Wescom Credit Union CEO Darren Williams for seeing the need for a credit union owned and oriented alternative to the bank controlled credit card portfolio buyers. Stan Hollen CEO The CO-OP Network Ontario, Calif.

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