American Express profits plunge 72 percent

January 27th, 2009 - 6:28 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Jan 27 (DPA) Credit card company American Express said Monday its profits plunged 72 percent as customers fell behind on loan payments and were also spending less amid the widening recession.Profits fell to $238 million from $858 million a year earlier.

American Express sought $3.5 billion in federal emergency assistance last year as it tried to cope with the effects of the financial market crisis. It qualified for aid after converting itself into a bank-holding company.

“Our fourth-quarter results reflect an operating environment that was among the harshest we have seen in decades,” CEO Kenneth Chenault said in a statement.

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