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Capital One Financial Corporation

Founed in 1988 by Richard Fairbank and headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One is a financial holding company whose principal subsidiaries are Capital One Bank, Capital One, F.S.B., Capital One Auto Finance Inc., and Hibernia National Bank. Capital One offers a variety of consumer lending and deposit products, including credit cards, auto loans, small business loans, home equity loans, installment loans, and savings products. Capital One is based on the belief that the power of information, technology, testing and great people could be combined to bring highly customized financial products directly to consumers. Since then, Capital One has emerged as one of the America’s largest consumer franchises with almost 50 million customer accounts and one of the nation’s most recognized brands.

Since February 2004, Mr. Fairbank has served as a Director on MasterCard International’s Global Board of Directors. Prior to that, Mr. Fairbank served on the U.S. Region Board of Directors of MasterCard from March of 1995 until February 2004, serving as its Chairman from March of 2002 until February of 2004.

Capital One rapidly became one of the largest credit card issuers in the United States. Over the years, Capital One expanded into new products and markets and created one of the most recognized brands in the United States. Today, Capital One is a diversified Fortune 500 company offering a wide variety of financial services, including credit cards, auto loans, installment loans, small business loans, home equity loans, and savings products.

The company offers plastic with a variety of annual percentage rates, credit limits, finance charges, and fees. Products range from platinum and gold cards for preferred customers to secured and unsecured cards for customers with poor or limited credit histories. The company also provides mortgage services, auto financing, credit insurance, and other consumer lending products. Immersing itself in the banking business, Capital One in 2005 bought New Orleans-based regional bank Hibernia in a stock and cash transaction valued at some $5 billion.

Capital One received a 100% rating on the Corporate Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign starting in 2003, the second year of the report.

Capital One has chosen to report balances instead of limits on credit reports. They do not give credit limit increases at consumers’ requests; they only give them on proactive reviews of accounts. Capital One is probably one of the most conservative credit companies on credit limit increases. Usually the reason for not giving a credit limit increase is that they do not want to put the consumer more into debt than what they might already be in.

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