Capital One posts strong profit

Capital One, the credit card issuer and bank, posted a stronger-than-expected first quarter profit of $636.3m (£414m) yesterday as it set aside less money to cover credit losses. Losses on bad loans peaked in the first quarter, and the bank plans to ramp up its business as the recession ends, chief executive Richard Fairbank said. Capital One managed to sidestep the worst of the credit crisis in part by slowing the issuance of new cards and cutting back on credit lines. The company set aside $1.48bn to cover bad loans, down from $2.13bn in the same quarter last year, including loans on the bank's balance sheet and sold to investors through securitisation.