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2006 Annual Report


Credit Risk Management

Credit risk is the risk of loss arising from the inability of a borrower or counterparty to meet its obligations. Credit risk can also arise from operational failures that result in an advance, commitment or investment of funds. We define the credit exposure to a borrower or counterparty as the loss potential arising from all product classifications including loans and leases, derivatives, trading account assets, assets held-for-sale, and unfunded lending commitments that include loan commitments, letters of credit and financial guarantees. For derivative positions, our credit risk is measured as the net replacement cost in the event the counterparties with contracts in a gain position to us fail to perform under the terms of those contracts. We use the current mark-to-market value to represent credit exposure without giving consideration to future mark-to-market changes. The credit risk amounts take into consideration the effects of legally enforceable master netting agreements and cash collateral. Our consumer and commercial credit extension and review procedures take into account funded and unfunded credit exposures. For additional information on derivatives and credit extension commitments, see Note 4 and Note 13 of the Consolidated Financial Statements.

For credit risk purposes, we evaluate our consumer businesses on both a held and managed basis (a non-GAAP measure). Managed basis treats securitized loan receivables as if they were still on the balance sheet. We evaluate credit performance on a managed basis as the receivables that have been securitized are subject to the same underwriting standards and ongoing monitoring as the held loans. In addition to the discussion of credit quality statistics of both held and managed loans included in this section, refer to the Card Services discussion. For additional information on our managed portfolio and securitizations, refer to Note 9 of the Consolidated Financial Statements.

We manage credit risk based on the risk profile of the borrower or counterparty, repayment sources, the nature of underlying collateral, and other support given current events, conditions and expectations. We classify our portfolios as either consumer or commercial and monitor credit risk separately as discussed below.