In a first quarter filing, Advanta Corp. reported robust growth in its small business credit card program, which was responsible for nearly 50% of the company's business compared to 43% for all of last year.

Pending approval from the Securities Exchange Commission, Advanta will begin accessing the public markets with its small business credit card portfolio, which is approximately $1.2 billion in size as of late March. The company expects to file an amendment and should receive notice from the SEC sometime in the third quarter.

Responsible for half of its business in the first quarter, Advanta's small business credit card program has proven to be a golden nugget for the company - and it looks as if it can only get better.

"The program is going very well," said David Weinstock, vice president of investor relations. "We had a significant growth in the first quarter. It's really a very strong growth mode."

He attributes these positive aspects to good balanced growth and good new account acquisition activity.

As far as the inaugural public transaction goes, Michael Coco, a vice president at Advanta, said that the specifics were yet to be determined.

Frequency of issuance will depend on the future of the business, Coco said. Advanta has yet to select a lead manager for its public transaction.

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