Select Page

Capital One Financial (COF), the third-largest U.S. credit card lender, is cutting borrowing limits on it credit cards.

The company has said it’s no big deal, telling Bloomberg that “Capital One periodically reviews accounts based on a variety of factors and may make changes to existing credit lines.”  A spokesman declined to specify how many people are affected.

But on social media some customers have complained in recent days that their limits have been slashed by a third to two-thirds.

Capital One pioneered the business of offering cards to people with riskier credit profiles. That make its credit policies something of  bellwether for moves by lenders such as JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Citigroup (C).

The larger worry for the economy is that banks will cut access to credit just as coronavirus stimulus programs end and before the economy has moved into high gear in reducing unemployment.

This kind of credit crunch is all too frequent in recessions where banks decide to tighten credit standards just as consumers have more need for credit.