Fitch Ratings acted on the ratings of American Express Co., NavientCorp., Discover FinancialServices, Synchrony Financialand Ally Financial Inc.as part of its periodic review of U.S. consumer finance companies, according toseparate April 6 news releases.
Fitch downgraded the long-term issuer default ratings of AmericanExpress, American Express Credit Corp.,American Express Centurion Bank,American Express Bank FSB,American Express Travel Related ServicesCo. Inc. and AmericanExpress Canada Credit Corp. to A from A+ and affirmed their F1 short-termissuer default ratings.
The outlook has been revised to negative from stable.
Fitch said the downgrade reflects meaningful erosion in AmericanExpress' earnings growth outlook, a modestly weakened market position, and greaterearnings volatility stemming from competitive and regulatory dynamics. The revisionof the outlook reflects increased execution risk as the company engages in strategicinitiatives aimed at addressing the challenges related to its profitability andbusiness model.
The rating agency affirmed Navient's long-term issuer defaultrating and senior unsecured debt rating at BB and its short-term issuer defaultrating at B.
The outlook is stable.
Fitch said the affirmations and stable outlook reflect Navient'sstrong market position and demonstrated servicing track record as part of its predecessororganization in the student loan servicing space, the low credit risk and predictablecash flow nature of its federal student loan assets and fee-based businesses, appropriaterisk-adjusted capitalization, adequate liquidity, and seasoned management team.
Fitch affirmed the BBB+ long-term and F2 short-term issuer defaultratings of Discover Financial and DiscoverBank with a stable outlook. Fitch said the affirmations and stable outlookreflect Discover Financial's strong franchise supported by its owned payments network,peer-superior credit performance, strong and consistent financial performance overtime, diverse funding base, ample liquidity, strong risk-adjusted capitalization,robust corporate governance and risk frameworks, and seasoned management team.
The rating agency affirmed the BBB- long-term and F3 short-termissuer default ratings of Synchrony and SynchronyBank with a stable outlook. Fitch said the affirmations and stable outlookreflect Synchrony's leading market position in the U.S. private-label credit cardindustry, successful separation from General Electric Co., seasoned management team,consistent operating performance, strong capitalization and liquidity levels, risksharing arrangements with retail partners, and improved funding diversity as a resultof deposit growth at Synchrony Bank.
The rating agency also affirmedAlly Financial's long-term issuer default rating at BB+ and short-term issuer defaultrating at B with a stable outlook.