A pending antitrust suit issued by the Justice Department against Visa USA Inc. and MasterCard International in regards to unfair tactics used by both companies against American Express (AMEX) could possibly throw some smaller-sized banks into the credit card securitization game down the line, sources say.

"The most likely candidates to serve as member banks for AMEX would probably be smaller or mid-sized banks who may have exited the card business or are looking to offer another product to their customers," said a credit card analyst. "It's hard to say who it would be at this point."

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