Within three months of re-entering the credit-card securitization market with its First USA portfolio, Bank One Corp. has agreed to purchase the $8.1 billion Wachovia Bank portfolio, $4.5 billion of which is unsecuritized.

"We are out of the go-go growth days' of the credit card business, and Wachovia was a way for us to continue on the growth path," said Steve Etherington, Bank One's first vice president of securitization. "We realize this is an economies and scale game', and we have the scale capacity. The super portfolio of Wachovia fits well with our focus on the prime [credit-card] customer."

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