Capital One Financial Corp has been the talk of the banking industry this week. On Tuesday, the bank fired back at allegations that it’s impending conquest of the American banking unit, ING Groep NV’s, will be the groundwork for America’s next financial meltdown.
The purchase would amount to $9 billion and revitalize the bank’s credit card portfolio. Analyst believe the large purchase would put us back where we were in 2008, based on careful analysis of subprime mortgage rates that lead to the Great Recession from 2007-2009.
According to SNL Financial, the merger that Capital One is proposing would propel the bank to the number seven spot in regards to U.S. banking assets. If the merger is successful, Capital One would gain access to $80 billion in credit card deposits and seven million new ING customers. This is a huge deal for the company, as they get approximately half of their revenue from their credit card market, including online credit cards as well as traditional credit cards.
If the deal goes through as planned, Capital One will be responsible for 32 percent of asset-backed securities in the market.
While analysts are worried, Capital One believes the market can handle it. In a public hearing with the Federal Reserve in Chicago, John Finneran— Capital One’s general counsel, explained that the banks new credit card focus would not weaken the American financial framework.
“The credit card market is substantially smaller, far less complex and far less impactful on the broader economy,” he said. “This product diversification, combined with our conservative and industry-leading underwriting capabilities, helped make us one of only two credit card businesses not to lose money in any quarter during the Great Recession," he said.
Consumers don’t agree, as their tax dollars are the ones that bailed out these large banks.
Many analysts and industry experts are watching these cases as a precedent on how the Federal Reserve will treat future bank mergers. The Federal Reserve must be on their tip-toes on how they handle these situations, as they are under intense scrutiny after 2008’s financial crisis.
Many community leaders are against the merger as they believe that it will give the bank to much power over the credit card market.
“Like Countrywide, Capital One is pursuing a risky business model, where more than 75 percent of its profits come from a single source: credit cards,” said the Reverend Jesse Jackson.
On Oct. 5, the Federal Reserve will hold the final public hearing in San Francisco. If you, the consumer have something to say about this, you can make your comments heard to the Federal Reserve until Oct. 12.