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Retirement Systems Of Alabama and Chitwood & Harley, LLP Announce $65 Million Settlement of Securities Class Action Against Providian Financial Corporation -- PVN

ATLANTA, July 28, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Retirement Systems of Alabama

("RSA") and Chitwood & Harley, LLP, which serves as lead plaintiff and lead counsel for the Class, respectively, today announced that the class action against Providian Financial Corporation (NYSE:PVN) and certain former officers of Providian settled for $65 million in cash. The settlement was presented to the Court just one business day before trial.

William F. Kelley Jr., RSA General Counsel said: "We are pleased with this outcome. I believe that the active participation of RSA made a difference in this litigation."

Martin D. Chitwood, senior member of Plaintiffs' trial team, noted that: "This case illustrates how the lead plaintiff mechanism of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act should work. RSA took an active role and guided the litigation to an outstanding result for the Class."

The case was scheduled to go to trial on June 7, 2004 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco Division). The Class consists of purchasers of common stock of Providian during the period between June 6, 2001 and October 18, 2001 ("Class Period"). The settlement is subject to final documentation and court approval. The recovery, less fees and expenses, will be distributed to purchasers of Providian stock during the Class Period who timely file valid proofs of claim under procedures to be implemented by the District Court.

Chitwood & Harley, LLP focuses on securities class action litigation and has served as co-lead counsel in two of the top securities class action recoveries since the passage of the PSLRA, including the $490 million settlement in "In re BankAmerica Securities Litigation" and the $300 million settlement in "In re Oxford Health Plans, Inc."

For more information, please visit Chitwood & Harley's website at www.classlaw.com or contact Martin Chitwood or Stuart Guber of Chitwood & Harley at 1-888-873-3999 (toll-free), by e-mail at mdc@classlaw.com or sjg@classlaw.com or by writing to them at the below address.

Contact: Chitwood & Harley, LLP Martin D. Chitwood, Esq. Stuart J. Guber, Esq. 1-888-873-3999 or 404-873-3900 www.classlaw.com mdc@classlaw.com sjg@classlaw.com.

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