Case | HBS Case Collection | September 2006 (Revised January 2008)

Providian Financial Corporation

by John R. Wells


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.

Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Restructuring; Customer Relationship Management; Insolvency and Bankruptcy; Credit Cards; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Financial Services Industry; United States;


Wells, John R. "Providian Financial Corporation." Harvard Business School Case 707-446, September 2006. (Revised January 2008.)