Despite noise about subprime’s growth in the credit card segment, the segment remains a small portion of the asset class and does not seem poised to take up a much larger share in the future, according to Ildiko Szilank, a director of ABS Ratings at Standard & Poor’s, speaking at the agency’s U.S. ABS 2014 Outlook and Hot Topics conference.

She said that subprime accounted for about 10-12% of new accounts last year, and that in general new accounts were linked to strong borrowers. She noted that following the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, tapping the subprime sector has been more difficult. Throw in the costs of subprime origination associated with Basel rules and it is unlikely subprime will take more than a small share of the credit card segment, although nonbank lenders certainly have more breathing room to expand this business line (Fenway Summer, for instance.)

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