And yet "number crunching" should be at least part of the risk calculations!!!
When I first applied for a credit card I got turned down abruptly.
When I went to my regular bank, with whom I'd been regularly banking with for over two years and applied, I got turned down. I pressed the issue, asking over and over again, "Where's the risk?"
I stated that I had a steady, stable income, and as I banked with them they could see how much I was earning, as well as how much I'd saved. I pointed out that I didn't need a credit card for financial reasons, but simply to buy things over the internet. Therefore a credit card with a minimal limit would be fine with me, as I'd prefer to keep it in the positive, anyway. So, from the bank's perspective, where's the risk?
"Oh, because, you're a foreigner."
"Right, yes, but I'm banking with this bank, and have more than enough money in my other accounts to cover the minimal balance, so even if I flee the country over night you still have the ability to cover yourself."
"Yes, but Taipei says no."
"Because.... I'll get them to call you."
When Taipei called, I tried to stick to the "where's the risk?" angle, but they insisted on throwing oddball derailing questions.
"Yes, but you don't live here."
"Actually, I do live here, and I'm married, and I intend to live here for some time to come. "
"You're married? Then get your wife to apply! No problem!"
"But I want it in my name. Can I ask again? reiterate no risk arguments So what is the risk to the bank?"
"Taipei's very cold at this time of year."
Eventually, I gave up. My wife applied, and bingo! Two platinum cards, his and hers, with a huge overdraft limit, given immediately to my unemployed, uninsured wife, no questions asked.
I can understand that banks (in any country) could (and perhaps should) be wary of giving credit cards to foreigners, and that credit criteria should be a bit harder to meet than normal, but that just isn't the case here. They were completely willing to give two platinum cards to an unemployed person, but not contemplate a minimum level card to someone with a steady job and money in the bank. It's the complete absence of numbers that I don't understand. I didn't even get the feeling from anyone I spoke to that they even understood the concept of financial risk.