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Survey reveals positive outlook when it comes to auto industry, small business financing

Apr 03, 2011 Brian Bradley

According to one recent survey of bank risk industry leaders, there is more optimism when it comes to the financial health of U.S. consumers in the months to come. The FICO quarterly Survey of Bank Risk Professionals found that those in the industry were expecting a noticeable decline in the number of delinquencies on auto loans and small business loans compared to last year. Despite their optimism when it came to auto and small business credit, according to the survey conducted by FICO with help of the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association, those in the industry are concerned about an ongoing issue of mortgage foreclosures and small business owners' access to credit. The survey found that delinquencies of credit cards are expected to fall by a margin of 35 percent to 28 percent in the next sixth months. It also found that auto loan delinquencies were expected to fall over the next six months by a margin of 37 percent, to 24 percent. Andrew Young, chief analytics officer of FICO and the head of FICO Labs, said that the numbers his firm had gathered proved that the U.S. economy was getting ready to recover and that the bankers were more confident than last year. "These results are the latest sign that America’s economic recovery appears to be gaining momentum," said Jennings. "This is the first time since we initiated the survey a year ago that we have seen more bankers expecting delinquency rates to decline rather than increase. This is consistent with other data, such as a decline in the unemployment rate and falling consumer indebtedness, that indicate consumer health is improving." The survey also found that 53 percent of banking professionals believed that the demand for credit by customers would increase in the next sixth months, and that 50 percent believed that there would be a greater amount of credit being extended to those looking for loans. FICO made other news recently when it announced that it had partnered with a company in India to help industry professionals make more informed credit decisions. The firm signed a deal with Saksoft to partner with it by using a variety of both companies' products hand-in-hand.