Magazine article American Banker

Synchrony Financial Says Split with GE Is on Track

Magazine article American Banker

Synchrony Financial Says Split with GE Is on Track

Article excerpt

Byline: Kevin Wack

Synchrony Financial, the $76 billion-asset credit card issuer that held an initial public offering in July 2014, says that it is on track to complete its separation from General Electric before the end of this year.

Speaking at an industry conference Wednesday, Synchrony Chief Executive Officer Margaret Keane said that a team from the Federal Reserve has recently been reviewing the company's application for a split-off from GE.

"We're pretty much winding that down. Our belief at the moment is that fourth quarter is still definitely doable," Keane said at a Barclays conference in New York, referring to her company's separation from GE.

"So, fingers crossed, we feel like everything we've been asked to do, all the infrastructure that we needed to get in place, is there. And it's really a question of the Fed, and getting the final approval from the Fed."

Synchrony, which used to be part of GE Capital, remains 85% owned by General Electric even after last year's IPO.

The Stamford, Conn.-based company, which specializes in store-branded credit cards, also signaled Wednesday that it plans to pursue growth more aggressively once the GE separation is complete.

"GE didn't necessarily hold us back, but they kind of kept us in a box, for sure," Keane said.

She indicated that other divisions within the industrial behemoth were bigger priorities for GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, citing investments in information technology as an example.

"Obviously, when you're part of a big company - we weren't at the top of Jeff's list on IT investments, I can tell you that," Keane said. …

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