KeyCorp operates in two main segments: "Community Banking" and "National Banking."
In 2009, KEY incurred a net loss of $1.29 billion on revenues of $4.44 billion. This represents a 0.61% decrease in net loss on a 19.7% increase in total revenue from 2008.
A number of KeyCorp's products expose it to credit risk, including loans, leases and lending commitments, derivatives, trading account assets and assets held-for-sale. When one of these products is judged to be noncollectable, the company must write down the product's value and record a loss, lowering net income. Although KeyCorp limited exposure to subprime borrowers by selling its subprime portfolio in 2006, it is affected by the secondary effects of falling house prices and decreased demand for new home construction. When housing prices fall, homeowners with home equity loans find themselves with more in loans than their house is worth. Similarly, developers find themselves building projects that may be worth far less than the cost to build them.
KeyCorp has focused its geographic growth through acquisitions of traditional savings and loans banks outside its 14 state footprint. In order to maintain revenue growth in its Community Banking Segment, KeyCorp must acquire other regional banks outside of its current geographic footprint. Additionally, the company has expanded its financial service offerings through the acquisitions of several mortgage servicing companies and a college tuition servicing company. Through these acquisitions, KeyCorp hopes to earn more non-interest revenue, decreasing its exposure to credit risk. Because loan service companies earn income through fees instead of an interest rate spread, they provide income even during times of low interest rates.
KeyCorp is the 17th largest bank holding company by domestic deposits. The company faces competition for deposits from both national banks and regional banks in the northern United States.
NCC was acquired by PNC in October 2008 for $5.6 billion. PNC is now a formidable competitor to Key Corp in overlapping markets.