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Bank of America Corp.'s card-services segment today reported a net loss of $204 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. The unit reported net income of $498 million during the same period a year earlier. Net income for the year fell 85.5%, to $521 million from $3.6 billion in 2007. BofA reported a net charge-off rate of 7.16% of credit card receivables for the quarter, up 241 basis points from 4.75% a year earlier. The net charge-off rate for the year was 6.18%, up 139 basis points from 4.79% in 2007. The company reported a 30-day delinquency rate of 6.68% of card loans outstanding for the quarter, up 123 basis points from 5.45% during the same period a year earlier. "Now we've continued to see increased delinquencies across our card portfolio, even more so in the states most affected by housing problems," Joe L. Price, BofA chief financial officer, told analysts today during a teleconference. "California and Florida make up a little less than a quarter of our domestic consumer card book but represent about a third of the losses." The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. today announced they would provide BofA protection against possible losses on approximately $118 billion of loans, securities and other assets, the large majority of which BofA assumed with its Jan. 1 acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. Treasury will invest $20 billion in BofA from the Troubled Asset Relief Program in exchange for preferred stock with an 8% dividend. As a company, BofA had a fourth-quarter net loss of $1.79 billion. It generated net income of $268 million during the same period last year. For the year, BofA reported a profit of $4.01 billion, down 73.2% from $14.98 billion in 2007.

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