The Strange case of the look-alike credit cards

 

Source: Jennifer Surane, Bloomberg News

First National Bank of Marin was a small Las Vegas lender with an image problem. Federal investigators accused it of issuing credit cards to strapped consumers, then piling on so many fees and obligations that some new clients couldn’t buy a sandwich without hitting their credit limit. But by 2006, it had settled the claims and changed its name to Credit One Bank and adopted a new logo, placing the company’s signature swoosh above its name.

If that looks familiar, there’s a good reason. In 2008, credit-card titan Capital One Financial Corp. unveiled an almost identical insignia, adding a swoosh that arced leftward from the letter O.

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