There were no headlines that I noticed whenthe Fed published its Q1/2011 stats on credit card delinquencies.Yes, the stats are buried and perhaps boring to some. But top 100U.S. bank credit card issuers passed an important milestone as Q1delinquencies over 30 days slipped back to Q1/2007 levels, under 4percent. Having peaked over 6 percent in 2009, they have thankfullyre-traced their path.
As a harbinger of charge-offs to come, this is, of course, goodnews. Indeed good news, as charge offs averaged around 7percent at the last reading. They have a way to go before returningto pre recession levels, and continue to be a drag on theindustry.
The workout process has been tremendous and unappreciated by theoutside world. After all, credit policymakers and collections arenot exactly the friendly side of the business. But they arecritical to getting consumer credit back on track.
Three cheers for turning this clock back to 2007.