In the first three quarters of 2017, American Express’s (AXP) Global Merchant Services division rose 7% in income compared to the same period in 2016, which mainly reflects a decline in the provision for losses.
The division’s non-interest revenues rose marginally by 1% in the first three quarters of 2017 compared to the first three quarters of 2016. That was mainly due to not much of a rise in discount revenue.
The division’s total expenses consist of marketing, rewards, cardmember services, salaries, benefits, and other operating expenses.
In the first three quarters of 2017, the Global Merchant Services division saw a marginal 1% rise in total expenses compared to the same period of 2016. That was mainly due to a decline in marketing-related expenses. These expenses fell due to fewer expenses in relation to growth plans.
The division posted salaries, benefits, and other operating expenses of $1.5 billion in the first three quarters of 2017 compared to $1.4 billion in the same period of 2016. That’s a rise of 5%.
The division posted provisions for losses of $11 million in the first three quarters of 2017 compared to $21 million in the same period the previous year.
On a TTM (trailing 12-month) basis, American Express posted returns on assets of 3%. Peers (XLF) Capital One Financial (COF), Green Dot (GDOT), and Synchrony Financial (SYF) had TTM returns on assets of 1.1%, 3.3%, and 2.4%, respectively.