In a move aimed at doubling its credit card business by 2004, UK mortgage bank Halifax has acquired the British retail credit card operations of ailing US-owned Bank One. The price paid is undisclosed.

Halifax claims it has more than 1.2m credit cards currently in circulation, and will merge Bank One's 200,000-card business with its own. The president of Bank One's UK card business, James Corcoran, will become managing director of Halifax Card Services, with responsibility for the integrated operation.

The deal comes just three months after the eleventh-hour collapse of Bank One's negotiations with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter to sell its UK and Canadian credit card operations.

News source: Financial Times