In a preview of second quarter earnings releases, Reuters speculates today that major U.S. banks may be counting on unexpectedly bright results from their credit card units to drive profits.
Reuters notes that the credit card lending arms of banks performed well over the second quarter as other business lines faltered:
While credit cards are performing well, and mortgage lending has increased with homeowners refinancing at lower rates, other lines of business were grim for many big banks in the second quarter. Trading volumes were low and merger and underwriting volume were also weak, weighing on investment banking results. Loan demand remained lukewarm, and rock-bottom interest rates pressuring lending margins.
But credit card delinquencies and losses have fallen faster than expected, with May seeing fresh lows for each.