Barclaycard Sells $1.6 Billion in Risky Credit-Card Balances to Credit Shop

Credit Shop plans on launching its own credit card later this year

Telephone boxes outside a Barclays bank branch in London.PHOTO: LUKE MACGREGOR/BLOOMBERG NEWS

By AnnaMariaAndriotis

Barclaycard is shedding a chunk of its subprime card balances, in a deal that reflects diverging views in the card industry about the future of the U.S. economy and the wisdom of wagering on risky borrowers.

The credit-card issuer, a unit of British bank Barclays PLC, sold $1.6 billion of credit-card balances owed by mostly near-prime and subprime borrowers to privately held personal-loan firm Credit Shop Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal marks the first time that Austin, Texas-based Credit Shop, which is mostly focused on extending personal loans to near-prime and subprime borrowers, purchased credit-card accounts and balances. The firm, which launched in 2013 and counts Chinese firm Renren Inc. as an investor, is planning on launching its own credit card later this year, according to people familiar with the matter. Several executives at Credit Shop were previously with Barclaycard.

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