NEW YORK (AP) -- Citibank reported a sharp drop in the rate its customers defaulted on their credit cards in December and said late payments also fell.
The default rate for the credit card division of New York-based Citigroup Inc. has now fallen to a level last seen in February 2008. Late payments are down to a point not seen since mid-2007.
DEFAULT: Citibank wrote off 5.11 percent of balances on an annualized basis in December. That was down from 6.36 percent of balances in November, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission submitted Tuesday. A year earlier, the charge-off rate was 8.34 percent.
LATE PAYMENTS: Payments on 3.11 percent of balances were delinquent, or late by 35 days or more, in December. That was down from 3.28 percent in November and 4.44 percent in December 2010.
PEAK RATES: Citibank's worst month for charge-offs came in March 2010, when the bank gave up collecting on 11.55 percent of balances on an annualized basis. Card companies typically write off credit accounts after they are six months past due.
Delinquencies also reached their highest point in March 2010 at 6.06 percent. The figure is an indicator for what to expect for defaults in coming months.
Shares of Citigroup rose 61 cents to $28.82 in afternoon trading.