Another set of reassuring monthly reports from the major credit card issuers underscores a major theme of the banking industry’s first-quarter results: loan loss reserve releases continue to pad profits.
Early-stage delinquency rates, or the percentage of balances past due by between 30 days and 60 days, were flat to down at most of the Big Six issuers in March from February. The monthly reports arrived Monday, the first business day after JPMorgan Chase (JPM) said a reduction in its allowance for bad credit cards lifted its first quarter net income by $310 million. (Data for the nation’s largest issuers is shown in the following graphic. Interactive controls are described in the captions. Text continues below.)