Ares Capital Commits $1.1BB to Revolving Credit Facilities

Ares Capital Corporation has closed its newly expanded revolving credit
facility, subsequently increasing its size from $525 million to $690
million. Comprised of $615 million in commitments on a stand-alone
basis, the facility is to consist of an additional $75 million in
commitments contingent upon the closing of its pending acquisition of
Allied Capital Corporation. Pricing on the New Revolving Facility
increased from LIBOR plus 1.00% to LIBOR plus 3.00% and the New
Revolving Facility will continue to be free of a LIBOR floor
requirement. The New Revolving Facility has a three-year term with a
maturity date of January 22, 2013. The New Revolving Facility was lead
arranged by J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., Banc of America Securities LLC
and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc. Participants in the previous $525
million revolving credit facility substantially increased their
commitments, representing $640 million out of the total $690 million in
commitments.

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Bank of America Cards Sees $3.4B in 4Q/09 Revenue

Bank of America global credit cards posted a $194 million loss in the
fourth quarter compared to a $1billion loss in the previous quarter and
a $9million loss in 4Q/08. Fourth quarter global cards revenues totaled
$3.4 billion while charge-offs for the quarter rose 3.71%. The managed
efficiency ratio increased for the quarter to 68.86% since the year ago
figure of 47.58%. The provision for credit losses increased to $30
billion from $20 billion for the year ago period due to higher net
losses driven by economic conditions and higher bankruptcies. The
increase in losses was partially offset by reductions in the reserves as
a result of improving delinquencies. For complete details on Bank of
America’s 4Q/09 performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

BOFA CREDIT CARD NET INCOME
(Global Cards; Excludes Business Cards)
3Q/08: (-$167 million)
4Q/08: (-$9 million)
1Q/09: (-$1874 million)
2Q/09: (-$1617 million)
3Q/09: (-$1036 million)
4Q/09: (-$194 million)
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Barclaycard Intros MasterCard Account Alerts

Barclaycard will now offer its MasterCard cardholders “inControl”
functionality, allowing set spending controls and real-time account
information. The “inControl” solution enables Barclaycard to provide a
service to customers with more control and peace of mind when using
their Barclaycard. Customers can go online and set personalized controls
and spend budgets, with SMS alerts or emails instantly sent to tell the
customer when they have reached a budget or control set on their credit
card. It quickly, easily and cost-effectively integrates into new or
existing debit, credit, prepaid, PayPass and mobile payment products to
extend card programs into new payment categories. Capabilities allow
users to set budgets for particular types of spending; manage exactly
where, when, how, and for what types of purchases each payment card
linked to their accounts may be used; safeguard against overspending and
keep them informed in real-time about attempted card activity; and
obtain virtual card numbers linked to their accounts providing increased
security and control when shopping online.

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Consumers Cutting Credit Debt Before Reform

Middle-class Americans are focusing on reducing debt, with 32% of Americans using credit cards less than they were a year ago and a mere 11% having increased their usage. Among the Americans aware of the credit card reform legislation, 22% are using their credit card less; 15% are paying more of their balance each month; 15% are paying off their balance in full each month; and 13% are permanently paying off all their credit cards. This, according to the lates First Command “Financial Behaviors Index,” also shows 61% of Americans in 2009 noticed potentially costly changes to their credit cards, with 40% reporting increased interest rates; 20% reporting increased late fees; 17% seeing decreased credit limits; and 11% seeing more late fees.

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National Restaurant & Heartland Partner for Processing

The National Restaurant Association state restaurant associations and Heartland Payment Systems payments processor have partnered to deliver “Full Course Business Solutions” unified payments processing for the restaurant industry. Providing effective tools, solutions and resources that will help them reduce expenses, the partnership is designed to improve operations and increase profitability all from one source with integrated technology product platforms. Initially launching with an exclusively endorsed suite of payments products including card processing, payroll, check management and tip reporting and compliance services, “Full Course Business Solutions” is supported by Heartland’s national sales and servicing organization of 1,800 professionals located in communities across America and its 1,600 service, information technology and administrative employees.

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Barclaycard Intros MasterCard Account Alerts

Barclaycard will now offer its MasterCard cardholders “inControl”
functionality, allowing set spending controls and real-time account
information. The “inControl” solution enables Barclaycard to provide a
service to customers with more control and peace of mind when using
their Barclaycard. Customers can go online and set personalized controls
and spend budgets, with SMS alerts or emails instantly sent to tell the
customer when they have reached a budget or control set on their credit
card. It quickly, easily and cost-effectively integrates into new or
existing debit, credit, prepaid, PayPass and mobile payment products to
extend card programs into new payment categories. Capabilities allow
users to set budgets for particular types of spending; manage exactly
where, when, how, and for what types of purchases each payment card
linked to their accounts may be used; safeguard against overspending and
keep them informed in real-time about attempted card activity; and
obtain virtual card numbers linked to their accounts providing increased
security and control when shopping online.

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BillShrink Launches Business Card Finder

BillShrink independent free online service that gives personalized money-saving recommendations on household bills expanded its savings advice to businesses looking for the right credit cards to meet their spending needs. BillShrink for Business’ new business credit card feature is designed to help small businesses navigate the current economic climate to guide business owners towards credit and charge cards offering the best terms to fit their specific business needs. Small business owners are currently facing a tough credit market as banks continue to decrease lending while small business loans have decreased by a collective $11.6 billion since April 2009.

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AmEx Reports $365 MM 4Q/09 Profit

American Express reported a $365 million 4Q/09 profit for its U.S. card
services business, following a $109 million profit in the third quarter
and $64million in 4Q/08. Total revenues net of interest expense for the
fourth quarter decreased 4% to $3.1 billion, driven by lower commissions
and fees, as well as lower net card fees. Provisions for losses totaled
$346 million compared to $1.1 billion in the year-ago period, reflecting
lower loan volumes and improvements in charge card and lending credit
trends. The net loan write-off rate was 7.5%, down from 8.9% in the
third quarter and up from 6.7% a year ago. Owned net write-offs were
8.0% in the quarter, down from 9.8% in the third quarter and up from
7.0% a year ago. Marketing, promotion, rewards and cardmember services
expenses increased 23% from year-ago levels thanks to increased marketing
investments and higher volume-related rewards costs.

American Express U.S. Card Metrics
Charge-Offs Delinquency Net Income
3Q/08: 5.9% 3.9% +$244 million
4Q/08: 6.7% 4.7% +$ 4 million
1Q/09: 8.5% 5.1% (-$ 25 million)
2Q/09: 10.0% 4.4% (-$200 million)
3Q/09: 8.9% 4.1% +$109 million
4Q/09: 7.5% 3.7% +365 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com) )

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Consumers Cutting Credit Debt Before Reform

Middle-class Americans are focusing on reducing debt, with 32% of Americans using credit cards less than they were a year ago and a mere 11% having increased their usage. Among the Americans aware of the credit card reform legislation, 22% are using their credit card less; 15% are paying more of their balance each month; 15% are paying off their balance in full each month; and 13% are permanently paying off all their credit cards. This, according to the lates First Command “Financial Behaviors Index,” also shows 61% of Americans in 2009 noticed potentially costly changes to their credit cards, with 40% reporting increased interest rates; 20% reporting increased late fees; 17% seeing decreased credit limits; and 11% seeing more late fees.

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Citi Mobile iPhone App introduced

Citi Credit card customers can now manage their card accounts using the “Citi Mobile” iPhone application. This allows consumers to quickly check account balances and available credit at any time with just a tap of the screen. The App also provides details on recent transactions, as well as the date on which the next payment is due, which can help prevent the accrual of fees from inadvertently late or missed payments. “Citi Mobile” is among the first mobile banking applications offered by a major U.S. Bank as an application specifically designed for the iPhone for fast and effortless as banking online.

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Westpac Bank to Deploy NCR ATMs

NCR Corporation has signed a multimillion dollar deal with Westpac New Zealand to implement the country’s most up-to-date, standards-compliant ATM network and help the bank offer better service at more than 400 devices by June of 2010. With this, more than 80% of the bank’s network will be replaced with NCR “SelfServ” ATMs to reduce costs and improve customer service while in new community branches Westpac will deploy the NCR “Teller Cash Recycler” (TCR) solution. With this agreement comes the necessary hardware and software, on-site maintenance, remote support and helpdesk services for up to nine years in renewable three-year terms. In conjunction, Westpac New Zealand will move to the NCR “APTRA” Edge software platform to host bill payment and on-screen interactive promotions.

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