The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Monoline credit card platforms: The course of consolidation

At the start of the decade, the credit card sector was characterized by a large number of monoline non-investment-grade issuers, including some that were just sub-prime platforms.

The credit card trick

Now the sector is dominated by relatively high-rated players, largely with double-A and single-A ratings. These platforms are generally much bigger than their predecessors of yesteryear and, more often than not, part of large universal banking operations.

There were four large sub-prime issuers – NextBank, First Consumers, Providian and Metris. Sub-prime card platforms suffered from high portfolio losses and subsequent intervention by the regulator, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Of these, only Providian and Metris continued in business until they were taken over by large banks with diverse credit card portfolios, these being Washington Mutual (WaMu) and HSBC respectively. NextBank and First Consumer did not survive the principal write-downs that affected their portfolios.

Nearly half of WaMu’s and one-third of HSBC’s card ABS portfolios are sub-prime, according to Standard & Poor’s. But Deutsche Bank’s Weaver points out that these are just 4.5% of credit card ABS outstanding. In the last two years there has been a substantial amount of consolidation, with Banc One/Circuit City acquired by JPMorgan Chase, Federated Department Stores and acquisitions of the above mentioned sub-prime platforms.

Monoline credit card platforms are now nearly extinct.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree