Consumer Payment Card News

Big 3 Profits

The nation’s three largest credit card issuers posted $1.4 billion in profits during the first three months of this year, a 19% jump over same period in 2002. Citibank, MBNA, and Bank One now control 40% of the U.S. bank credit card market, based on outstanding balances. Citibank’s global credit card profits jumped 27% in the first quarter to $735 million. Citi’s North American segment produced $635 million in credit card profits, a 14% increase over the first quarter of 2002. MBNA racked up $432.5 million in Q1 global credit card and consumer loan profits, an 18% gain over last year. MBNA’s foreign credit card business has grown 45% over the past year but only represents 15% of its total business. Credit cards represent 89% of MBNA’s global lending business. Bank One delivered $248 million in profits during the first 90 days of this year, a 4% gain over Q1 of 2002. Discounting Citibank’s card business outside North America, as well as MBNA’s domestic consumer loan business and international credit cards, credit card profits in the USA were up 13% this year. The “Big 3” earned slightly more than $1.2 billion in the first three months of 2002. Based on these data and current marketshare, the U.S. bank credit card industry produced an aggregate profit of approximately $3.5 billion so far this year. This means the U.S. bank credit card industry is on track to earn a whopping $14 billion in 2003 !

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