Who’s Behind the Financial Meltdown?

Published — May 6, 2009 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

No. 23 of The Subprime 25: GreenPoint Mortgage Funding Inc./Capital One Financial Corp.


Total high-interest loans 2005-2007:

At least $13.1 billion

Federal bailout money received:

$3.6 billion

Company overview

  • Status: CLOSED. Capital One shut down GreenPoint in the third quarter of 2007.
  • History: Originally a community bank in Brooklyn, New York, GreenPoint Savings Bank was first chartered in 1868. In 1995, GreenPoint acquired Barclays American/Mortgage Corp. and moved aggressively into the no-documentation mortgage market. The loans are also known as “Alt-A” loans, which are not considered by the industry to be subprime because the borrower’s credit score is usually high. At least $13.1 billion of GreenPoint’s loans, however, were considered “high interest” by the Federal Reserve, fitting the definition of subprime as used in the Center’s survey. North Fork Bancorp acquired GreenPoint Financial in October 2004 for $6.3 billion in stock. In December 2006, Capital One purchased North Fork. Capital One shut down GreenPoint by the third quarter of 2007 at an after-tax loss of $1 billion.
  • Parent/subsidiary companies: Capital One bought GreenPoint parent company North Fork Bancorp on December 1, 2006.
  • CEO: Chairman/CEO: S.A. Ibrahim was president and CEO of GreenPoint Mortgage from 1999 to 2005. He was replaced by Steven M. Abreu.
    • Most recent salary: Ibrahim’s 2003 salary, $389,423; bonus, $1,145,250
  • Location: Novato, California
  • Year founded: 1868
  • Backers: GreenPoint sold loans to Lehman Brothers, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley to create securities out of mortgage pools.

Lobbying overview

  • Lobbying: 2000-2008: Capital One reported $7,998,000 in lobby expenses. Prior to its acquisition, GreenPoint did not report any lobbying, but firms working for the company reported $40,000 in expenditures. **
  • Total Contributions: At least $3,692,100 *
  • Top Recipients:
    1. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee $214,550
    2. National Republican Congressional Committee $100,650
    3. National Republican Senatorial Committee $97,000
    4. Senator John McCain, R-Arizona $62,951
    5. Representative Eric Cantor, R-Virginia $59,700


  • Settlements:
    • GreenPoint agreed to pay $1 million in 2008 to settle charges from the New York State Attorney General’s Office of discriminatory lending practices to minorities.

** Lobbying totals calculated by the Center for Public Integrity using data from the Senate Office of Public Records.

* Contribution grand total includes employee and soft money contributions from the lender and its subsidiaries. Top recipient totals include employee and political action committee contributions. Data provided by CQ Money Line, analysis by the Center for Public Integrity.

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