Narrower loan spreads and lower average loan balances, partially reversed by lower revenue reversals associated with a reduction in net charge-offs, helped drive fourth-quarter reductions in both net revenue and net income for the Card Services & Auto unit of JPMorgan Chase & Co., the issuer announced Jan. 13.

The unit reported net revenue for the period ended Dec. 31of $4.81 billion, down 5.1% from $5.07 billion during the same period in 2010. Net income dropped 32.3%, to $1.05 billion from $1.55 billion.

The provision credit losses rose 49.5%, to $1.06 billion from $709 million, while noninterest expenses rose 8.6%, to $2.03 billion from $1.87 billion, Chase said.

The net charge-off rate for the quarter was 3.27% of receivables, down 246 basis points from 5.73% a year earlier and down 20 basis points from 3.47% during the third quarter, Chase said. The 30-day delinquency rate for card loans was 2.32%, down 91 basis points from 3.23% a year earlier and down four basis points from 2.36% the previous quarter.

Credit card average loans were $128.6 billion, a decrease of $7 billion, or 5%, from a year earlier, and 2.2 million new credit card accounts were opened during the quarter.

Excluding the Washington Mutual and Commercial Card portfolios, credit card sales volume was up 9%, to $91 billion from a year earlier; excluding also the impact of the Kohl’s card-portfolio sale, sales volume was up 14% compared with the fourth quarter of 2010.

Merchant processing volume was $152.6 billion, up 20%, while total transactions processed were 6.8 billion, up 21%.

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