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8 S. Korean Issuers in Lafferty Global Credit Card Rankings Top 100
Lafferty Global Credit Card Rankings show that of the top 100 global issuers in terms of credit card outstandings, eight are South Korea-based – Kookmin Bank, Shinhan Card, Hyundai Card, Samsung Card, Woori Financial, Lotte Card, Korea Exchange Bank and BC Card. In terms of number of cards issued, BC Card is the highest ranked South Korean bank, with an estimated 25.8 million credit cards in 2009.

Of the top ten global issuers in terms of credit card outstandings, two are UK-based organisations – HSBC Group and Barclays Group. The remaining eight are US-based

Since 2009 Asia-Pacific has overtaken North America in terms of the number of credit cards in issue. Nevertheless, there is a sizeable market for retailer cards in North America. When such cards (estimated at more than 600 million) are taken into consideration, North America is still by far the largest global market for credit cards. In the past few years, growth in credit cards (and debit cards) in the region has mainly been driven by China. Between 2003 and 2009, the number of credit cards in China grew on average by 44 percent per annum. In the same period, the value of credit card transactions increased by 73 percent

The research also shows that the four largest US issuers (JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Capital One) account for almost half of North America’s credit card outstandings and the total of these four organisations’ outstandings is significantly larger than the combined figures of Asia Pacific, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Middle East and Africa.

The Lafferty Global Credit Card Rankings report provides a comprehensive map of the global credit card market. It tracks the world’s largest credit card issuers in terms of the number of cards in issue and credit card outstandings in 65 of the most significant credit card markets in the world. A number of country-level card usage indicators are also provided – such as per adult penetration, average number of monthly transactions per card and average annual billed volume per card. In considering market competition, the report provides data regarding the level of concentration and networks split at regional levels.

In the 65 markets covered in this report, there are around 6.3 billion payment cards, of which almost 2 billion are credit cards. Around 58.6 billion credit card transactions were performed globally in 2009.

Michael Lafferty, Chairman of Lafferty Group, said “Lafferty Global Credit Card Rankings aims to help participants in the marketplace to assess their own position and benchmark their organisation, national market or region against international peers. It provides insightful comparisons on the various market development and cards usage indicators that may help readers identify main characteristics and trends in the global credit cards market. In preparing this report, we have mainly used data from the Lafferty Group’s World Cards Intelligence online database, a unique set of data sourced from reliable primary and secondary sources.”

Only seven issuers from Eastern Europe, six from Latin America and two from Middle East and Africa qualified in the top 100 global credit card issuers in terms of outstanding credit card balances. The list includes 19 US-based organisations, followed by ten Chinese, nine Canadian, eight South Korean, seven UK, six Japanese, five Turkish, four German, four Australian, three French, three Greek and three Brazilian issuers. No other country is represented by more than two organisations in the top 100.

Other highlights of the report include:

• The Middle East and Africa is an underdeveloped market where cash is the dominant payment form and card ownership is still low. It has the lowest credit cards penetration rate among all regions across the globe. In eight of the sixteen markets covered by the region, less than 5 percent of adults own a credit card. The top ten credit card issuers in the region account for almost two-thirds of all credit cards issued by the top 50 banks. At the end of 2009, four countries (South Africa, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt) accounted for almost 80 percent of all credit cards in issue in the Middle East and Africa. However, Qatar and Kuwait have among the highest average credit card debt per card ratios in the world

• Turkish issuers Yapi Kredi, Garanti Bank, Isbank, Akbank and Finansbank lead the league table of the largest issuers in Eastern Europe. Their combined share of the number of credit cards issued by the top 50 issuers in the region is estimated at 44 percent, while their share of regional credit card outstandings stands at 52 percent. Only one Russian issuer, Russian Standard Bank, secured a place in the top ten credit card issuers (in terms of outstandings) in the region

• The top three issuers in Brazil - Itau-Unibanco, Bradesco and Banco do Brasil - account for 55 percent of all credit cards issued by the top 50 credit card companies in Latin America. However, these three issuers make up only 17 percent of the top 50 issuers’ credit card outstandings. Four international banks – Citigroup, Santander Group, BBVA Group and HSBC Group – dominate the regional market in terms of credit card outstandings

• In Western Europe the credit card market remains very diverse. Four of the top ten Western European credit card issuers (in terms of outstanding balances) are UK-based banks and three are US-based banks. Also, the top four UK credit card issuers account for 36 percent of outstandings accumulated by the top 50 issuers operating in Western Europe.

• Despite the global financial crisis and a contraction in card numbers in countries such as India, Japan and Mexico, overall the credit cards markets in Asia Pacific and Latin America have continued to grow in terms of the number of credit cards in circulation, which suggests that these two regions retain the biggest potential for growth in the future.

Lafferty Group

Lafferty Group provides research, intelligence, education and advisory services to banks and other providers of retail financial services worldwide. The company’s activities include international Councils – where senior financial industry executives meet regularly to share best practices - conferences, newsletters, reports and customised research and advisory services.

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