Capital One Financial (COF) has grown its commercial and industrial loans by double digits over the past year, but its chief executive says it is prepared to pull back if the battle for business clients becomes any more intense.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs investor conference in New York on Wednesday, Richard Fairbank acknowledged competition is fierce in most areas of lending, but added that the C&I market that is most at risk of overheating. As Fairbanks sees it, there are too many deposit-rich banks chasing too few commercial loans, and he fears that combination is already leading to irrational pricing and weakening credit standards.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.