LONDON —May 28, 2013 — FICO (NYSE:FICO), a leading predictive analytics and decision management software company, today released its quarterly UK cards data showing that the percentage of cards that are overlimit hit a two-year low. The latest data from the FICO® Benchmark Reporting Service showed that student, premium, Euro (Irish) and classic accounts were all lower than at any point since March 2011. Overlimit accounts among classic cards were at their lowest level — just over 2 percent of cards — since FICO began benchmarking performance in 2002.
“This positive performance may seem surprising when the economy is struggling, but it reflects a number of factors,” said Nigel Brayne, senior director of Global Business Consulting at FICO. “First, many people have erratic cash flow and need their cards more than ever, so they are being careful to avoid overextending themselves, or risking fees. Second, some card issuers are beginning to make pre-collections contact with customers, which can help cardholders avoid running up troublesome debt levels. And third, despite the reductions in credit limits a few years ago, cardholders appear to have high enough limits that they can avoid going overlimit.”
FICO’s card benchmarking data also exposed a big difference in payments-to-balance ratios for older card accounts and newer ones. The percentage of balance paid reached a three-year high last quarter for “veteran” accounts open for more than five years (26 percent in January) and “established” accounts open for one to five years (30 percent in February). However, the same measure reached a two-year low in March for new accounts (just under 14 percent). In fact, payments-to-balance for card accounts open for less than 12 months has dropped by 13 percent since March 2011 and by 30 percent since March 2010.
Similarly, the utilization percentage on new card accounts was at its highest level since the third quarter of 2008. By contrast, utilization percentage on established and veteran accounts continued to fall, and for established accounts hit its lowest level since the first quarter of 2002. This also suggests that established cardholders have high enough limits to support their spending.
“New card accounts have payment trends that indicate higher risk,” said Brayne. “We are warning our card issuing clients to review their approval criteria, and to monitor these newer accounts more closely for signs of payment difficulties.”
Card issuers also watched the post-Christmas payment trends carefully. While the percentage of accounts that are two cycles delinquent rose in January for classic cards, the percentage then fell in February and March. “Last year it took longer for the delinquent accounts to stabilize,” Brayne said. “This implies that cardholders are paying off their seasonal spending quicker.”
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. The data sample studied represents 26 million accounts, or about half of all credit cards issued in the UK, and comes from client reports generated by the FICO® TRIAD® Customer Manager solution in use by most UK card issuers.
Card issuers that subscribe to the FICO® Benchmark Reporting Service receive a quarterly review of their portfolio compared to the industry, with 24 months’ worth of data. For greater insight, subscribers can explore the data by vintage of accounts. For information on the FICO Benchmark Reporting Service, contact Stacey West at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FICO (NYSE:FICO), formerly known as Fair Isaac, delivers superior predictive analytics solutions that drive smarter decisions. The company’s groundbreaking use of mathematics to predict consumer behavior has transformed entire industries and revolutionized the way risk is managed and products are marketed. FICO’s innovative solutions include the industry-leading solutions for measuring credit risk, managing credit accounts, identifying and minimizing the impact of fraud, and customizing consumer offers with pinpoint accuracy. Most of the world’s top banks, as well as leading insurers, retailers, pharmaceutical companies and government agencies, rely on FICO solutions to accelerate growth, control risk, boost profits and meet regulatory and competitive demands. Learn more at www.fico.com. FICO: Make every decision count™.
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Except for historical information contained herein, the statements contained in this news release that relate to FICO or its business are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including the success of the Company’s Decision Management strategy and reengineering plan, the maintenance of its existing relationships and ability to create new relationships with customers and key alliance partners, its ability to continue to develop new and enhanced products and services, its ability to recruit and retain key technical and managerial personnel, competition, regulatory changes applicable to the use of consumer credit and other data, the failure to realize the anticipated benefits of any acquisitions, continuing material adverse developments in global economic conditions, and other risks described from time to time in FICO’s SEC reports, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2012 and its last quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2013. If any of these risks or uncertainties materializes, FICO’s results could differ materially from its expectations. FICO disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
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