Monday, December 29, 2008
Bloomberg - American Express Co., the credit- card company that's converting into a bank, will get $3.39 billion of fresh capital from the U.S. rescue fund to ensure its survival as the recession heads into a second year. American Express joins more than 190 regional banks, commercial lenders, insurers and card issuers seeking at least $75 billion from the second phase of the Treasury's bailout plan for financial firms. Faced with rising defaults by cardholders, the New York-based firm won Federal Reserve approval to become a commercial bank last month and announced in a statement today it gained access to the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. . . American Express rival Capital One Financial Corp. has preliminary approval for $3.6 billion from the U.S. and Discover Financial Services asked for $1.2 billion. Discover, based in Riverwoods, Illinois, was awarded bank holding company status last week.