Providian Financial Corporation
On October 3, 2005, Washington Mutual acquired Providian Financial Corporation, the ninth-largest credit card issuer in the U.S., for $6.5 billion. At the time, Providian had approximately 10 million customer relationships and a balance of $18.6 billion. For some observers, the transaction was merely the end of another chapter in the history of the fast consolidating credit card market. For Providian CEO Joseph Saunders, it was vindication of four years' hard work in turning around a company that many thought was close to bankruptcy.