American Express said the current economic climate, in which consumers seem wary of dealing with credit card debt, has many major lenders uncertain about the future, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. In particular, banks are concerned about boosting the number of credit card accounts they handle.
In the wake of tighter restrictions the banks imposed as a means of cutting down on losses to delinquent and defaulted credit card debt, many have found consumers are no longer interested in new accounts, the report said.
"Consumers are saving more and borrowing less," said American Express vice chairman Ed Gilligan in a conference call with reporters. "Small businesses are cautious."
Gilligan also pointed to a tougher regulatory climate as a reason for additional declines in profits, the report noted.
Many consumers have made a greater effort to reduce their credit card debt in recent months by increasing their payments while also spending less on these accounts.