Morgan Stanley leaving credit card service

Dec. 19, 2006 at 11:07 AM

NEW YORK, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Morgan Stanley has decided to spin off its Discover card after years of mulling over what to do with the profitable but slow-growing service.

The New York investment bank plans to divest itself of the credit card business in the third quarter of 2007, pending regulatory approval.

Shareholders for years complained that the business was an odd fit for the securities firm, the Wall Street Journal said Tuesday.

Former Morgan Stanley Chairman and Chief Executive Philip Purcell, who helped form Discover, long championed its steady revenue and diversification. But, he had changed his mind by the time he resigned last year.

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