November 1, 2018, 5:26 PM EDT
Synchrony Issues Statement in Response to Lawsuit by Walmart Inc.
This lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt by Walmart to exert leverage and avoid the contractually defined process for valuing the loan portfolio that Synchrony has serviced on behalf of millions of Walmart customers for the last 20 years. It is unfortunate that, despite our good faith efforts to resolve this commercial dispute amicably and in accordance with the contract, Walmart walked away from discussions and rushed to file suit.
Ultimately, Walmart is trying to avoid paying the fair market value for the portfolio as required by our contract.
We believe Walmart’s complaint is completely baseless and without merit, and we intend to vigorously defend our position.
Synchrony applied the same underwriting and decision-making processes to the Walmart portfolio as it does to all portfolios. The credit performance of the portfolio was simply driven by the credit distribution of the applicants, the relative performance of Walmart cardholders and Walmart’s failure to promote the program.
While we would have preferred to resolve this matter commercially, Synchrony intends to file substantial claims that will demonstrate Walmart failed in the most basic elements of our contract, including its promotion of the card program both in stores and online.
While this is clearly an attempt by Walmart to avoid paying the fair market value for the portfolio, we are committed to enforcing the terms of our contract.
Synchrony (NYSE:SYF) is a premier consumer financial services company delivering customized financing programs across key industries including retail, health, auto, travel and home, along with award-winning consumer banking products. With more than $130 billion in sales financed and 74.5 million active accounts, Synchrony brings deep industry expertise, actionable data insights, innovative solutions and differentiated digital experiences to improve the success of every business we serve and the quality of each life we touch. More information can be found at www.synchronyfinancial.com and through Twitter: @Synchrony.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements as defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are subject to the "safe harbor" created by those sections. Forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “targets,” “outlook,” “estimates,” “will,” “should,” “may” or words of similar meaning, but these words are not the exclusive means of identifying forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions, and are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. As a result, actual results could differ materially from those indicated in these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include global political, economic, business, competitive, market, regulatory and other factors and risks, such as: the impact of macroeconomic conditions and whether industry trends we have identified develop as anticipated; retaining existing partners and attracting new partners, concentration of our revenue in a small number of Retail Card partners, promotion and support of our products by our partners, and financial performance of our partners; cyber-attacks or other security breaches; higher borrowing costs and adverse financial market conditions impacting our funding and liquidity, and any reduction in our credit ratings; our ability to grow our deposits in the future; our ability to securitize our loan receivables, occurrence of an early amortization of our securitization facilities, loss of the right to service or subservice our securitized loan receivables, and lower payment rates on our securitized loan receivables; changes in market interest rates and the impact of any margin compression; effectiveness of our risk management processes and procedures, reliance on models which may be inaccurate or misinterpreted, our ability to manage our credit risk, the sufficiency of our allowance for loan losses and the accuracy of the assumptions or estimates used in preparing our financial statements; our ability to offset increases in our costs in retailer share arrangements; competition in the consumer finance industry; our concentration in the U.S. consumer credit market; our ability to successfully develop and commercialize new or enhanced products and services; our ability to realize the value of acquisitions and strategic investments; our ability to realize the benefits of and expected capital available from strategic options; reductions in interchange fees; fraudulent activity; failure of third parties to provide various services that are important to our operations; disruptions in the operations of our computer systems and data centers; international risks and compliance and regulatory risks and costs associated with international operations; alleged infringement of intellectual property rights of others and our ability to protect our intellectual property; litigation and regulatory actions; damage to our reputation; our ability to attract, retain and motivate key officers and employees; tax legislation initiatives or challenges to our tax positions and/or interpretations, and state sales tax rules and regulations; a material indemnification obligation to GE under the tax sharing and separation agreement with GE if we cause the split-off from GE or certain preliminary transactions to fail to qualify for tax-free treatment or in the case of certain significant transfers of our stock following the split-off; regulation, supervision, examination and enforcement of our business by governmental authorities, the impact of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the impact of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s regulation of our business; impact of capital adequacy rules and liquidity requirements; restrictions that limit our ability to pay dividends and repurchase our common stock, and restrictions that limit Synchrony Bank’s ability to pay dividends to us; regulations relating to privacy, information security and data protection; use of third-party vendors and ongoing third-party business relationships; and failure to comply with anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing laws.
For the reasons described above, we caution you against relying on any forward-looking statements, which should also be read in conjunction with the other cautionary statements that are included elsewhere in this news release and in our public filings, including under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, as filed on February 22, 2018. You should not consider any list of such factors to be an exhaustive statement of all the risks, uncertainties, or potentially inaccurate assumptions that could cause our current expectations or beliefs to change. Further, any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which the statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as otherwise may be required by law.