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How Capital One Makes its Profits

Greg McFarlane

Among the four biggest by market capitalization, Wells Fargo & Co. ( WFC) was founded in 1852 and Citigroup Inc. ( C) in 1812. Bank of America ( BAC), the pup of the quartet, dates back only to 1904. Spun off as the credit card operations of a larger bank, Capital One began its independent life just as the American penchant for instant gratification was coming into its own.