Credit Card Data Hint of Easing Consumer Stress

Monday, 15 Mar 2010 02:21 PM

 

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Credit card delinquency rates slipped at three major U.S. lenders last month, suggesting fewer Americans are falling behind on bills.

Charge-off rates also dropped at Capital One Financial but rose at Bank of America and Discover Financial Services, according to regulatory filings on Monday.

The delinquency rates, which stabilized in January, signal it is less likely that the card issuers will have to write off bad loans in the future. Charge-offs are loans the companies do not expect to be repaid.

The data build on similar trends in January, suggesting the worst may be over for U.S. consumers.

Shares of the three lenders were mixed: Discover rose 0.2 percent, while Bank of America slid 1 percent and Capital One was off 1.9 percent. Shares in the sector were broadly down ahead of details of a U.S. Senate plan to revamp financial regulation.

JPMorgan Chase , Citigroup and American Express were expected to report the February performance of their credit card portfolios later on Monday.

Capital One said accounts at least 30 days delinquent — an indicator of future loan losses — declined to 5.51 percent in February from 5.80 percent in January. Its annualized net charge-off rate for U.S. credit cards fell to 10.19 percent from 10.41 percent.

Capital One is the third-largest U.S. issuer of Visa Inc branded credit card and the fifth-largest issuer of MasterCard branded credit cards.

Credit Suisse analyst Moshe Orenbuch said trends at Capital One were better than expected. "Charge-offs and delinquencies improved in both card and auto finance segments," the analyst told clients in a note.

Bank of America, the largest U.S. bank, said its delinquency rate dropped for a third straight month, to 7.23 percent in February from 7.35 percent in January. Charge-offs rose to 13.51 percent from 13.25 percent.

Discover Financial's delinquency rate was 5.50 percent last month, down slightly from 5.55 percent in January. Its charge-off rate jumped to 9.11 percent from 8.58 percent.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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