Wells Fargo reported first-quarter average credit card loans of $24.1 billion, increasing 9% from $22.1 billion in the first quarter of 2012. During the company's earnings conference call on April 12, CFO Tom Sloan said Wells Fargo added "a record of 577,000 new [credit card] accounts in the first quarter, up 18% from a year ago and up 31% from the fourth quarter." Sloan also said for the bank's card business, "our household penetration increased to 34.1%, up from 29.9% a year ago." Those are incredible numbers, especially when considering the general deleveraging trend for U.S. consumers in the wake of the credit crisis. Fandetti wrote that Wells Fargo "is planning a more aggressive push in US card issuance in Q3'13, based on our discussions with industry executives." Here's how the credit card loan growth stacked up for Wells Fargo's major card-lending competitors:
- Capital One's (COF) average portfolio credit card loans increased 17% to $78.4 billion in the first quarter from $61.5 billion a year earlier, however, the company acquired roughly $27 billion in card loans from HSBC last year, and transferred its $7 billion Best Buy card portfolio to held-for-sale in the first quarter. The sale of the Best Buy portfolio to Citigroup is expected to be completed in the third quarter.
- Discover Financial Services (DFS) reported its credit card loan balances averaged $49.3 billion during the first quarter, increasing 6% from a $46.6 billion a year earlier.
- Citigroup (C - Get Report) reported average card loans increasing 3% to $146.2 billion in the first quarter from $141.7 billion in the first quarter of 2012.
- American Express (AXP) reported average loans of $62.8 billion in the first quarter, increasing 3% from $60.7 billion a year earlier.
- U.S. Bancorp (USB) reported first-quarter average credit card loans of $16.5 billion, declining 2% from $16.8 billion a year earlier.
- For JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report), average credit card balances declined 3% to $123.6 billion in the first quarter from $127.6 billion a year earlier.
- General Electric (GE - Get Report) subsidiary GE Capital had reported that its period-end U.S. installment and revolving credit loans -- mainly credit card loans -- totaled $48.5 billion as of Dec. 30, declining 5% from $50.8 billion a year earlier.
- Bank of America's (BAC - Get Report) credit card loan balances averaged $91.7 billion during the first quarter, declining 7% from $98.3 billion in the first quarter of 2012