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Well Amex declines to answer Securitisation Question

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Hello Folks!

 

Do bear in mind that Amex UK is just a branch for their American parent, they have themselves said this many times. It's an excuse they used when dealing with probing questions from the Competition Commission, when Amex said they could not split out the figures for the UK, as they did not regard the UK as anything remote from their own main Global/USA based activities.

 

The Company Accounts for their UK Companies do not suggest anything more than a Service is being conducted over here...a little Amex corner shop in little old England.

 

So, if all they have over here is a Service Company, and a Holding Company above that, and a few others that handle insurance...there's no sign that any of these have been doing any significant Securitisation. Certainly not for the years that Amex has been issuing Amex Cards that just happened to be managed in Sterling.

 

So, if not here, then where have they been busy Securitising the Card Debts then? Their business model required them to raise funds via Securitisation, so where have they been doing it then!

 

The answer could well be that they have been doing it in the USA, where American Securitisation rules apply...i.e. outright Sales to the SPV, no funny games are allowed over there pretending to split the Legal Rights from the Equitable Rights. This clearly deviates from the UK Securitisation model but, if the Card Debts were never regarded by them as being Country specific, and were not Securitised here, then the UK Model doesn't apply.

 

The Cards may be billed in Sterling, but all true Amex Cards appear to be managed Globally with their centre of operations in the USA. To amplify this point, how many people have seen strange Dollar to Pound conversions for example when using their Amex Cards? Note also the moaning that Amex does in their Corporate Reports about having to cope with Exchange Rate fluctuations caused by Cards that are managed in currencies other than the Dollar.

 

The problem for Amex arises because most of the Sterling Amex Credit Cards are based on Regulated Agreements. So, selling these Debts in the USA via outright Sales to Groups/SPVs that do not have a UK Consumer Credit Licence is likely to prove an unwise move for them.

 

Stand back and wait for the hostile response when they get wind that people are becoming aware of what they have probably been doing.

 

Cheers,

BRW

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Got my reply back from M&S regarding my enquiry about securitisation of my card. They said,

 

We do not propose to enter into discussions regarding whether or not this bank engages in securitisation.

 

This is our full and final response regarding this issue.

 

I guess their coyness means they do securitise their cards.

 

Alan

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Hello SP!

 

Is M&S' financial still run by HSBC?
I believe so.

 

HSBC stay well in the background, but tend to crawl out into the daylight when, not if, the M&S frontline staff flounder!

 

A little known fact is the Registered Office for Marks & Spencer Financial Services plc at Postcode CH99 9FB is just 0.6 Miles from the Registered Office for MBNA Bank Limited at Postcode CH4 9QQ. This may explain why their tactics and inefficiency are so curiously similar.

 

If you Google Map the M&S Postcode, you can then see the nasty Business Park where they both live, and you then can then zoom in to see where they park the Bentleys we've paid for. The MBNA Buildings are at the Top Left, the M&S ones are towards the Bottom Right.

 

I wonder what else unpleasant lives on that Chester Business Park...I bet there must be a DCA or three lurking there.

 

If I win the Lottery, I would like to invest in a dozen or so of these 60 ton Bulldozers...

 

Israelis' invulnerable, 60-tonne robot bulldozer force to double ? The Register

 

Once the Bulldozers have flattened the Chester Business Park, they would be available to work their magic razing Amex House in Brighton to the ground.

 

Cheers,

BRW

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......then take 'em to Leeds!

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In view of my light-blue background, I think I'd prefer an AC 130 Spectre, but the main effort would be the same.

 

Oh, and a message to Cheshire & Brighton TS - "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"

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Reply from Amex reference my question on whether they securitised any of my accounts.

 

Thank you for your letter dated 8th June 2009.

 

We would like to advise you that your account is funded by American Express Services Europe Limited. We do not believe it is necessary to provide any further information as to the source of funding as it is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

If it isn't securitised, why don't they just say no?

 

Alan

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Reply from Amex reference my question on whether they securitised any of my accounts.

 

Thank you for your letter dated 8th June 2009.

 

We would like to advise you that your account is funded by American Express Services Europe Limited. We do not believe it is necessary to provide any further information as to the source of funding as it is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

 

If it isn't securitised, why don't they just say no?

 

Alan

 

Seems to be a pretty standard response. I guess the answer to your question could be that if they say no and it is securitised that would be an outright fib :D


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Hello Alan!

 

If it isn't securitised, why don't they just say no?
The fact that they are extremely reluctant to come straight out and say no, the Agreement has not been Securitised, is very, very, very telling!

 

I would suggest that Amex have Securitised everything that was not nailed down to the floor, because that is how they have always funded themselves.

 

Now, assuming they have Securitised the Debt, the next awkward question for Amex has to be...where did they Securitise it?

 

There's no signs of them doing the dirty deed over here in jolly old blighty, so where did they do it? Let me guess...

 

Take a U.

 

Take an S.

 

Take an A.

 

Sadly for Amex, the Securitisation question is very relevant, because they must own the Debt, or have the Legal Rights to the Debt, if they wish to take Court Action.

 

Given that American Securitisation Accounting requires that Debts are sold outright, with no split between Equitable Rights and Legal Rights, this is potentially an explosive issue for them.

 

We know they have Securitised. They know they have Securitised. Now they know that we know they have Securitised! If we can prove it was done in the good old U, S of A, then Amex have big problems ahead.

 

Get digging folks, and find the evidence.

 

This is a good place to start:

 

Internet Archive Wayback Machine

 

Cheers,

BRW

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Hello Folks!

 

Just as an example, this is what they said they were up to in 2003:

 

Securitizations

 

The American Express Credit Account Master Trust (the Trust) securitized $4.6 billion and $4.3 billion of loans in 2002 and 2001, respectively, through the public issuance of investor certificates. During 2002 and 2001, $2 billion and $1 billion, respectively, of investor certificates that were previously issued by the Trust matured. The securitized assets consist of loans arising in a portfolio of designated consumer American Express Credit Card, Optima Line of Credit and Sign & Travel/Extended Payment Option revolving credit accounts or features owned by Centurion Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TRS, and, in the future, may include other charge or credit accounts, features or products. At December 31, 2002 and 2001, TRS had a total of $16.9 billion and $14.3 billion, respectively, of Trust-related securitized loans which are not on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. In early 2003, the company securitized an additional $920 million of loans.

 

The thick plottens, Dr Watson.

 

Cheers,

BRW

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It is not sufficient to ask, has the account been securitized;

they must prove that it has not been securitized!

 

AC

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I wonder what else unpleasant lives on that Chester Business Park...I bet there must be a DCA or three lurking there.

 

 

Well, there’s Legalitum and Debt Recoveries UK Ltd, after which (before leaving for Brighton), the ‘dozers could trundle up Wrexham Road and take out Aktiv Kapital, which is appropriately located in Crook Street.

 

Some may want Chester Trading Standards to be included in the wrecking schedule.

 

Els


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Ah Yes,

Chester Trading Standards;

MBNA & AMEX!!!!

 

AC

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Can anyone dumb this down for me? :D

 

If they've securtized, does that mean the debt is paid?

 

Does it mean (if proved) that we wouldn't have to pay?

 

Or the debt is owed to an entity we don't have a contract with, so tough?

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Yes, I'd like a laymans explanation as well.

 

Does it mean Amex have effectively sold credit card debt, to raise funds. So the implication for card holders is that Amex cannot pursue legal action against anyone whose credit debt has been securitized, because Amex no longer own the debt?

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Hello DP77!

 

The answer is, we do not yet know...but can guess!

 

Amex USA were not even a bank until a few Months ago, when they had to change status to gain access to Bailout funds, about USD 3.5 Billion I think it was.

 

Prior to that, they did not accept Customer Deposits, in effect, so had a pretty unique way of working. Indeed, they still do...arguably.

 

They have their own Global Network for Card Clearance/Authorisation and that is centred in the USA. It is not part of Visa or MasterCard.

 

Amex likes to keep control, so the main Parent Company is the one that owns more or less all of the others. Whilst there are Amex Companies, and Amex Companies that own other Amex Companies, at some stage you reach the one at the very top, namely American Express Company in the USA. The Global Daddy.

 

The main UK Company, namely American Express Services Europe Limited is 100% owned by the above, albeit via a shell Holding Company above that, which is in turn either owned by Amex USA, or is owned by another Company that is owned by Amex USA.

 

Dig out their Company Accounts, and take a look at the numbers. I think you may see that they are pretty busy providing a Service for their Global Parent. They are a UK Branch, not a bank in their own right. The numbers whizzing around in their books do not seem anywhere near big enough for them to own all of the UK Card Debts. The figures show mainly what it costs that Company to operate in the UK, in terms of staff, vehicles, pensions and buildings.

 

The clue is in the name...Services!

 

It seems most true Amex Cards issued for the UK are just American Amex Cards but managed in Sterling.

 

The next issue to investigate is to establish if, and where, Amex have Securitised your alleged Card Debt. I do not know, you must get digging and see if you can find out. Given the way they operate, it's near certain the Debt has been Securitised...they could hardly miss that opportunity, given how they are traditionally funded.

 

Remember they have always used Securitisation quite heavily, in view of the way they have funded themselves over the years...i.e. no long standing tradition of Customer Deposits and Savings to play with like the other banks.

 

When you can, do some reading on American Securitisation, and the way that their Accounting Standards demand that sales are made outright when Securitising. They are not usually allowed to mince about, as is the case over here where bankers do sell outright, but pretend they don't by saying they have only sold the Equitable Rights, but have retained the Legal Rights. Some of that is being challenged, and we have yet to get to the bottom of that.

 

But, going back to Amex, if they have indeed Securitised your Card Debt over in the USA, and have done so outright, then they may well have a big problem, as explained above. Do not get your hopes up that this is a magic solution, but do get looking, because you never know what you may find!

 

None of this is clear yet, but many people are looking, and I'm sure Amex are likewise busy deleting anything they can from the Web to hide what they have been up to.

 

My advice therefore is get looking, now, and save anything interesting you find. Download PDFs, don't Bookmark them, or else you may find they are not there next time you go back.

 

Many banks are flat out deleting anything to do with Securitisation from the Internet, so grab what you can find! It is being hoovered out at the moment.

 

Now, why are they doing that I wonder!

 

The more people we have looking, the more likely we'll find something they do not want us to see!

 

Cheers,

BRW

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This may shed some light on how they do it:

 

At the time of a cardmember loan securitization, the Company records a gain (loss) on sale, which is calculated as the difference between the proceeds from the sale and the book basis of the cardmember loans sold. The book basis is determined by allocating the carrying amount of the sold cardmember loans, net of applicable credit reserves, between the cardmember loans sold and the interests retained based on their relative fair values. Such fair values are based on market prices at the date of transfer for the sold cardmember loans and on the estimated present value of future cash flows for retained interests. Gains (Losses) on sale from securitizations are reported in securitization income, net in the Company’s Consolidated Statements of Income. The income component resulting from the release of credit reserves upon sale is reported as a reduction of provision for losses from cardmember lending.

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Another article that points to the likelihood of card accounts being securitized:

 

Liquidity has been yet another concern of investors, about AmEx specifically and the financial industry in general. Beaten-up stock prices in the sector make stock offerings punishingly dilutive to current stockholders. Even more damaging has been the freezing-up of the all-important asset-backed securitization market, which allowed lenders like AmEx to bundle vast hunks of their credit-card receivables and sell them off to investors in the form of bonds. At the end of last year, such securitizations accounted for some $29 billion of the $72 billion in credit that AmEx had extended to cardholders in both the U.S. and abroad.

 

It seems reasonable enough to me that if one ends up in court against Amex, to put them to strict proof that the account in question has not been securitized, since it's clear that they do it.

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It seems reasonable enough to me that if one ends up in court against Amex, to put them to strict proof that the account in question has not been securitized, since it's clear that they do it.

 

Can you really demand proof like that?

 

I'll have to use that along with their non-existent agreement and faulty DN;-)

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Amex don't want to answer the question, but it's clear from US media reports (based upon Amex accounts), that they have securitized accounts, and not just US ones. It seems to me quite reasonable to ask whether or not a particular account has been securitized; if they say no, they should be able to prove it, or say on oath that what they say is true.

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I asked them if my account had been securitised, and they just refused to answer, by saying, basically, its none of your business!

 

Alan

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Hello Alan!

 

I asked them if my account had been securitised, and they just refused to answer, by saying, basically, its none of your business!
If they try that one on in Court, make sure they speak up nice and clearly, for the benefit of the tape!

 

Then remind them that they must own the debt to have a Right of Action in a UK Court.

 

It will be fun watching them try to show where UK Card Debts live in the UK Company Accounts...let alone show that they have not been Securitised!

 

You have to find the fellas first! :D

 

Cheers,

BRW

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BRW- could you comment on my thread

 

should i "pull the rigger" now

if you get time

 

thanks

 

(sorry for the intrusion)

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I got exactly the same answer as Alan. No answer, just it's none of my business.

 

Haven't had an opportunity to write back to them yet. They are still saying that the Conditions were on the back of the application form too, but only two/thirds of the conditions they were actually using at the time could fit on to the back of a piece of paper which is two/thirds of A4, so they know they are fibbing about that one!

 

DD

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