Bank of America on Thursday reported that its credit card default and late payment rates improved in August after a statistical blip in July.
The credit card division of the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank said the rate it wrote off credit card balances last month dropped to 6.79 percent of annualized balances, down from 7.43 percent in July.
Bank of America said the July figure reflected a one-time impact from switching to a more conservative accounting method for recognizing losses on accounts of customers who have died.
Bank of America still has among the highest default rates in the industry, but it is down substantially from the 14.53 percent the bank reported in August 2009.
The bank also said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that its rate of payments late by 30 days or more fell to 3.96 percent of balances in August, from 4.05 percent the prior month. It was the 11th straight month the delinquency rate declined.
The figure is important because delinquencies, as late payments are known in the industry, are considered an important indicator of default in coming months.
Bank of America Corp. shares added 18 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $7.24 in afternoon trading.