Magazine article American Banker

Providian Regroups to Develop Noncard Businesses

Magazine article American Banker

Providian Regroups to Develop Noncard Businesses

Article excerpt

Providian Financial Corp. has rearranged its business lines and senior management to put more emphasis on home lending and collections.

The San Francisco company said it is organizing itself around four central endeavors: credit cards in the United States; credit cards in the United Kingdom; electronic commerce; and mortgages, collections, and other initiatives in an "emerging businesses" division.

Executives said last week that emerging businesses is a top priority.

That division houses First Select, a year-old program in which Providian buys bad debt from other lenders and tries to collect on it, as well as a line of fee-based products offered to borrowers.

Seth Barad, who was executive vice president in charge of Providian's unbanked or secured-card business, was named president of emerging businesses. He said his mandate is to turn mortgages and collections into star performers, emulating the growth strategy he implemented in the unbanked portfolio.

In 1994 Mr. Barad oversaw "a little secured credit card business," he said, and today it is "30 times as great as it was then."

"I'm being asked to take our smaller activities and do it again."

Mr. Barad will no longer be responsible for card activities, except when they

overlap with such fee-based membership products as auto and health club programs. David R. Alvarez, previously executive vice president responsible for regular unsecured cards, was named president of credit cards.

That does not include the British card business, launched in June, which falls under James V. …

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