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The article on page 3 in the Sept. 26 issue [“Portfolios Can Gum Up the Merger Works”] did the industry a service by pointing out oft overlooked difficulties in merging credit card programs in an overall credit union merger. In addition to what was discussed in the article, I’d also point out that there are significant compliance risks in such a merger due to little understood complexities of CARD Act.

Most critically, the surviving credit union needs to understand that there is only a six-month window to bring the acquired credit card program’s terms in line with the existing program’s terms. If it does not do that (keeping in mind that the credit card program is typically shuffled to a lower priority status give all else required in a merger), it must maintain ongoing tracking and management burdens based on the practices of the portfolio owner prior to the merger. That information is often unavailable and virtually guarantees a compliance issue in many instances.

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