California-based Providian Financial Corp. recently announced that it will decrease the number of employees in its home-loan section, sifting them to its credit card and electronic commerce business, resulting in a possible increase of issuance in the credit card sector, a spokesman with the company said.

"We certainly feel that by re-deploying both the personnel and the capital assets from the home-loan division, we certainly can ramp up credit-card lending", said the spokesman.

Providian has been an active issuer of securitizations backed by credit cards since the first quarter of 1997 with its $546 million groundbreaking deal. Its most recent $509 million credit card-backed transaction priced early this quarter.

The company's home-equity loan trust issued a $500 million securitization early in 1999 - the only issuance from the trust to date. The market may see more home-equity ABS from the company, using notes that are currently on its books.

"We will no longer be originating new [home-equity] loans," the spokesman said. "But, it doesn't preclude us from securitizing loans we already have on books."

In terms of issuance, the spokesman added that market players can expect to see a lot from them this year, although the company's issuance depends mainly on "how rapid the growth is."

"We're certainly going to be more active this year than we have been in past years just because our growth has been so spectacular in the last couple of years," he said. "We approach the securitization market on the credit card side ... opportunistically as we think. ...Our funding sources are pretty diverse."

The company currently has a few "general ideas" regarding its future securitizations, but plans are not quite concrete, the source concluded.

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