Skip to main content
New Data: European Consumers Still Careful About Managing Credit

Despite economic troubles across much of Europe, there are clear indicators that consumers continue to mind their credit very closely. Today FICO released two reports, on the UK and Russia, that show positive trends for consumer credit management.

Our report on quarterly UK cards data showed that in the second quarter of 2012 average total sales per “classic” card reached their second-highest point in two years, behind December 2011 but higher than December 2010. In addition, several measures of delinquencies fell, with average two-cycle balances hitting their lowest level in more than two years.

The card performance figures are part of the data shared with subscribers of the FICO® Benchmark Reporting Service, which compares overall market performance in the UK cards market with individual card issuers’ performance. With a stuttering economy, UK consumers seem to be using cards as “survival tools.” By making payments on time, they’re protecting their credit lines as a buffer against the possibility of more hard times ahead.

Card Data Chart Sept 2012

Source: FICO® Banking Analytics Blog. © 2012 Fair Isaac Corporation.

In Russia, the FICO Credit Health Index showed that Russian borrowers’ credit repayments held steady in the second quarter of 2012. In Q1 the index did fall slightly — the first fall in two years — but that fall seems to have been arrested. The FICO Credit Health Index measures the overall credit health of the country, based on the percentage of consumer loans and credit cards reported to NBKI, the nation’s leading credit bureau, that are delinquent by more than 60 days.

Russian Credit Health Index

Source: FICO® Banking Analytics Blog. © 2012 Fair Isaac Corporation.

These are just snapshots, but by tracking these over time FICO has been able to see encouraging signs of wise credit management. It seems that European borrowers have learned lessons from the recent recession.

related posts