U.S Citizen Bank Case Analysis

Case analyses have proven to be a great method for empirical studies of ethics in business “allowing for normative and conceptual inquiry” (Business Ethics, 14). Each case must be approached with a careful and thorough set of eyes. The particular case being discussed in this essay consists of U.S. Citizen Bank and their distribution of credit cards to college students.
The dilemma in this case explores the ethical dimensions of marketing credit cards to college students. It brings into question whether or not actively targeting college students falls under the category of predatory lending. This situation manifested itself due to a combination of several factors. A major one being the merger between U.S. Citizen Bank and Louisiana Purchase Bank (LPB), which resulted in the adoption of the already established LPB’s card structure, where credit cards were given to students much more liberally, even marketed exclusively to college students. Prior to the merger, U.S Citizen Bank’s student cardholders had a similar uncollectable percentage as their standard cardholders. LPB’s student cardholders had a much higher and volatile uncollectable percentage. The merger caused U.S. Citizen Bank to become more “flexible” when issuing student credit cards due to LPB’s reputation for innovation and their new demographic of college students.
Central to this dilemma is Michelle Jeffries. After graduating magna cum laude at University of Montana, Michelle got a job with LPB. She quickly climbed the corporate ladder and found herself in the LPB Card Services division. She was directly influencing LPB’s activity in relation to the issuing of its credit cards to college students. She pioneered the directional shift to marketing credit cards to college students. Michelle continued to work with the Card Services division after the merger with U.S. Citizen Bank and finally implemented stricter criteria for new applicants after years of scrutiny.
The main ethical concerns stem from...