Capital One Financial Corp

The Capital One Financial Corp. (COF) is an American bank holding and a member of the prestigious Fortune 500. The company concentrates on retail and commercial lending and deposit. Also, the body is responsible for the common usage of credit cards, inciting their mass marketing at the end of the XXth century. Its services encompass credit card issuance, home and auto loans, banking and savings. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and maintains 8th position for having the largest deposit portfolio in the country and is the United States Postal Service’s 4th largest customer. Its corporate headquarters are located in McLean, Virginia.

Richard Fairbank and Nigel Morris established the company in 1988. The structure was perceived as a follow-up project of Signet Banking Corp., based in Richmond, Virginia. First Union Corp. purchased the latter in 1997. Capital One started its retail banking division after it bought out Hibernia National Bank, headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana and North Fork Bancorporation in Melville, New York (in 2005 and 2006, respectively). Since 2008, the North Fork Bancorporation subsidiaries, North Fork Bank and Superior Savings of New England, have been using the Capital One branding. The next significant acquisition was the Chevy Chase Bank, as announced by the Capital One spokesperson in December 2008. To alleviate the effect of the subprime mortgage financial predicament, the corporation surrendered its mortgage division, titled GreenPoint Mortgage. A determinant in the discussions was the pressure, applied by the major investors. Furthermore, the corporation was given $3.56 billion in preferred stock purchased, effective from November 2008. This was done within the framework of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, outlining the implementation of the Federal bail-out, which was to rescue the American economy from recession. The body repurchased the shares in July 2009.

Capital One’s subsidiary in Plano, Texas – Capital One Auto Finance – is a top US auto lender. Since its buy-out of PeopleFirst, Capital One Auto Finance has taken the lead in Internet auto lender. After an era of direct-mail and dealership practices, the customers now have the opportunity to refinance their current obligations, as well as to apply for new loans. The buyers are issued a “blank check” in around 20 minutes, with which they can buy the car.

The company operates branches in the UK and Canada. Its other locations, Spain, France and South Africa, have pulled out from the markets. The Canadian branch is exclusively occupied with the credit card market.

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