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A new report finds that credit card solicitations to U.S. households has dropped off by 17% in the second quarter to slightly more than one billion pieces. However, response rates have remained flat at 0.6%. According to Synovate’s “Mail Monitor,” card issuers that cut back solicitations the most were HSBC (-54%) and Citigroup (-45%). Citibank’s mail volume was the lowest quarter recorded in over 10 years. Overall, the card mail volume figures are the lowest seen since 4Q/03. For households receiving offers, the reductions to the prime rate have had a positive impact on the terms being promoted. Synovate notes that the mean single/go-to APR declined from 12.91% in 2Q/07 to 11.36% in 2Q/08.

            CARD  MAIL  HISTORICAL
          YEAR      OFFERS     RESPONSE
          1998:     3.44b        1.2%
          1999:     2.54b        1.0%
          2000:     3.54b        0.6%
          2001:     5.01b        0.6%
          2002:     4.89b        0.5%
          2003:     4.29b        0.6%
          2004:     5.23b        0.4%
          2005:     6.05b        0.3%
          2006:     5.76b        0.5%
          2007:     5.30b        0.6%
          2008:     4.00b        0.6%
         Source: Synovate's Mail Monitor

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