2014 Card Industry Revenue – finally an uptick

(January 5, 2015) — R.K. Hammer Chairman and CEO Bob Hammer reported that “Regulation and legislation have again effected every portfolio revenue variable: including total revenue, interest income/fee income split, thus seeing issuers respond by assessing new fees and repricing existing fees, where permissible. In their current opinion, R.K. Hammer notes the CFPB still has yet to fully catch its stride, so even more regulation will likely be on the near term horizon in 2015 and beyond, just not nearly as swift or as deep as in recent years.”

“In the meantime, it was refreshing to see the card industry finally reverse course from the Y/Y declines in total revenue during the last six years, as shown below, which include credit unions and other FI’s. The past recession and post-recession impact on the card business was brutal for most at the time. Now, though, a recovering economy improving, unemployment declines continuing, consumers still cautious but resuming spending increases, and many issuers hungry for growth beginning to market aggressively to gain new accounts lost during the past five or six years; these have all contributed to the rise in estimated card industry revenue for 2014.”

TOP LINE CARD INDUSTRY REVENUE TREND (All Fees and Interest. Before Expenses)

  • 2014      $161.7 Billion
  • 2013      $145.5 Billion
  • 2012      $149.6 Billion
  • 2011      $154.9 Billion
  • 2010      $163.3 Billion
  • 2009      $166.5 Billion
  • 2008      $169.0 Billion

Source: R.K. Hammer – Card Knowledge Factory® 2015

“Some additional good news for credit card is that the previously dangerous high levels of consumer bankruptcy and charge offs have now normalized to more manageable levels, 3-4%; other P/L line item expenses are down as well,” Hammer notes. While the year may have ended at 3% net charge offs for some, the full year “blended charge offs” for the industry are still higher in our financial performance model, closer to 4.4 – 4.5% for 2014.”

A more modest increase in top line revenue is forecast for 2015, to the range of $165/170 billion in the R.K. Hammer card revenue model for this year. Another revenue uptrend will be welcome news for an industry severely battered by past economic, legislative and regulatory storms.

For a more complete run down on the revenue and expense streams for the card business in the last twelve months, go to:, the research and analysis division at R.K. Hammer, for a listing of updated research reports available to card issuers and institutional investors on this and other subjects in their 2015 edition.

More about Card Knowledge Factory® at R.K. Hammer
A leader for over three decades in virtually all phases of credit card portfolio management, R.K. Hammer expanded their research and analysis division with the implementation of the Card Knowledge Factory™. It offers instant access to timely reports and insightful analysis, much more efficiently and effectively than internal issuer research alone.   Hammer also serves as an expert witness for issuers in litigation, broker’s card portfolio deals, and conducts valuations for Boards and management, as well as interim on-site card portfolio management in virtually every area of the credit card business. Founder and CEO Bob Hammer has over 30 years of consumer finance experience in credit card.

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