NCRC Statement: Capital One Merger Filing Is A Polite Way Of Saying ‘Please Let Us Exploit More Desperate Americans’

After Capital One officially filed its application to merge with Discover, National Community Reinvestment Coalition President and CEO Jesse Van Tol released the following statement:

“Merger applications are highly technical and complex documents full of numbers and jargon. But this one is simple to translate into terms anyone can understand. Capital One’s filing is a polite way of saying, ‘Please let us exploit even more desperate American families.’

“Capital One is already the largest subprime credit card lender in the country. Its business model is built on using data analysis to identify the people most likely to slip into revolving debt and then pushing products on them that will deepen their financial distress. Credit cards can be an important tool for individuals and families to gain momentum toward building wealth – but only if they are responsibly tailored to promote financial stability. Capital One has been successful because it designs its subprime credit business to do the opposite. That’s why roughly half its net income comes from interest and fee revenue from lower-income cardholders.

“I look forward to a robust regulatory review process for this anticompetitive, destabilizing and dangerous merger application. NCRC and our members will make our voices heard at the public hearings. While banking regulators are in frequent contact with industry actors, they have fewer opportunities to hear directly from those of us who are trying to bend America’s economic arc toward justice. People who work every day to help build wealth and opportunity for the same families Capital One exploits for profit will not sit by and watch while the firm seeks a permission slip to expand its nefarious practices.”
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