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Fitch affirms ratings on 4 US consumer-focused internet banks

Fitch Ratings has affirmed its ratings on , ,Synchrony Financialand Ally Financial part of its periodic review of U.S. consumer-focused internet banks.

The rating agency affirmed the long-term issuer defaultrating at A and short-term issuer default rating at F1 for American Express,American Express CreditCorp., AmericanExpress Centurion Bank, American Express Bank FSB, and AmericanExpress Canada Credit Corp.

The ratings outlook is negative.

American Express' ratings represent its strong franchise,strong risk-adjusted capitalization and superior credit performance versuspeers, among other things. The negative outlook takes into account continuedexecution risk as the company engages in strategic initiatives to tacklechallenges involving its profitability and business model.

Fitch affirmed the BBB+ long-term and F2 short-term issuerdefault ratings of Discover Financial and Discover Bank with a stable outlook. Factors taken intoaccount for the ratings and outlook include the company's strong franchisesupported by its owned payments network, superior credit performance comparedto peers, and strong and consistent financial performance.

Synchrony Financial and Synchrony Bank's BBB- long-term and F3 short-term issuerdefault ratings were affirmed with a stable outlook. The ratings and outlookrepresent the company's market-leading position in the U.S. private-labelcredit card industry, successful separation from General Electric Co. and strongcapitalization and liquidity levels, Fitch said.

The rating agency affirmed Ally Financial's BB+ long-termand B short-term issuer default ratings with a stable outlook. Factors takeninto account for the affirmation include the company's high credit qualityassets, diverse funding base and ample liquidity. The stable outlook reflectsthe agency's view that even though the company's credit attributes are on animproving trend, it faces some headwinds in the near term, including acompetitive underwriting environment that could lead to asset quality andresidual value reversion.