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The Associated Press February 15, 2012, 4:45PM ET

Citibank credit card defaults increase in January

Citibank on Wednesday reported an increase in the rate that its customers defaulted on their credit cards in January, and said late payments also ticked up.

The default rate remains at a level last seen in early 2008. Late payments held near a point last seen in mid-2007.

DEFAULT: Citibank wrote off 5.27 percent of balances on an annualized basis in January. That was up from 5.11 percent in December, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission submitted Tuesday. A year earlier, the charge-off rate was 7.49 percent.

LATE PAYMENTS: Payments on 3.13 percent of balances were delinquent, or late by 35 days or more, in January. That was up from 3.11 percent in December, but well below the 4.35 percent in January 2011.

PEAK RATES: Citibank's worst month for charge-offs came in March 2010, when the bank gave up collecting on 11.55 percent of balances on an annualized basis. Card companies typically write off credit accounts after they are six months past due.

Delinquencies also reached their highest point in March 2010 at 6.06 percent. The figure is an indicator for what to expect for defaults in coming months.

Shares of Citigroup slipped 36 cents in Wednesday trading to close at $31.72.

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