Chillin' out till it needs to be funded
AmexCo converts to bank holding company
By Francesco Guerrera in New York
Published: November 11 2008 00:25 | Last updated: November 11 2008 00:25
American Express became the latest financial group to convert to a bank holding company in a surprise move on Monday that will give the credit card group permanent access to Federal Reserve funds and could facilitate consolidation in the sector.
The Fed said AmexCo’s application had been approved more quickly than usual because of the “emergency conditions” and “the unusual and exigent circumstances” in financial markets.
According to the Fed, AmexCo had $127bn in total assets but retail deposits of just $7.2bn – another sign that the financial crisis is prompting regulators to accept bank holding applications from companies with little retail banking presence