ATLANTA and MINNEAPOLIS—April 13, 2010— Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX), a global leader in information solutions, and FICO (NYSE:FICO), the leading provider of analytics and decision management technology, today announced the launch of a new analytic solution to help lenders better anticipate account and portfolio risk in light of shifting economic events. FICO® Economic Impact Index provides lenders with critical insights for portfolio stress testing, enabling them to adjust their risk management policies and decision strategies.
Developed by FICO and initially available on an exclusive basis from Equifax, FICO Economic Impact Index helps lenders understand how future economic fluctuations can affect BEACON® 09 (FICO® 8) credit scores. Leveraging Equifax’s unique data assets, the solution helps lenders assess the potential impact of various economic scenarios on the repayment risk levels related to FICO 8 scores.
“Whether the economy is in a downturn or an upswing, FICO Economic Impact Index is equally valuable to lenders as an analytic tool for confidently managing external risk driven by shifting economic conditions,” said Robert Duque-Ribeiro, vice president and general manager of Scores at FICO. “The new Index gives lenders greater control over portfolio performance and profitability and can help them avert bad-debt losses in the millions. It also helps lenders take advantage of opportunities in an improving market or consumer credit segment.”
This patent-pending solution indicates the projected positive/negative level of impact on a specific FICO score range based on selected economic forecasts. With this information, lenders can make informed decisions about modifying score cutoffs for account opening and portfolio management decisions.
“High unemployment rates and rising account delinquencies underscore the need for greater transparency into consumers’ financial profiles,” said Dann Adams, president, Consumer Information Solutions, Equifax. “With FICO Economic Impact Index, lenders gain a more complete view of consumer financial health to make sound lending and account management decisions. For today’s lenders, having a 360° view is critical to navigate consumer economic risk imposed by market forces that may be beyond their control.”
Industry analyst Bobbie Britting reaffirms the need for industry solutions that give lenders a more comprehensive view of consumers’ financial profiles and enable them to manage risk performance changes.
“Lenders continue to evaluate the best means to manage their portfolios through difficult times” said Bobbie Britting, research director for consumer lending at TowerGroup. “Economic data has always been a consideration in the lending world, but today’s informational needs are much more complicated. As consumer behavior changes and diverges, anticipating and understanding the underlying economic conditions has become much more important for lenders needing to maintain lending volumes on the front-end, as well as better serve their clients pre-delinquency or through the collections process.”
Lenders that adopt FICO Economic Impact Index gain access to economic intelligence based on dozens of key economic indicators, including unemployment, gross domestic product, interest rates, housing prices and foreclosures. With economic forecasts updated quarterly, the Index provides lenders with an analytically objective basis for adjusting their underwriting policies, account treatment, reserve levels and capital requirements.
For more information about FICO Economic Impact Index, visit www.equifax.com/consumer/risk/portfolio_management and www.fico.com/en/Products/Scoring/Pages/FICO-Economic-Impact-Index.aspx.
About Equifax Inc. (www.equifax.com)
Equifax empowers businesses and consumers with information they can trust. A global leader in information solutions, we leverage one of the largest sources of consumer and commercial data, along with advanced analytics and proprietary technology, to create customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.
With a strong heritage of innovation and leadership, Equifax continuously delivers innovative solutions with the highest integrity and reliability. Businesses – large and small – rely on us for consumer and business credit intelligence, portfolio management, fraud detection, decisioning technology, marketing tools, and much more. We empower individual consumers to manage their personal information, protect their identity, and maximize their financial well-being.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Equifax Inc. operates in the U.S. and 14 other countries throughout North America, Latin America and Europe. Equifax is a member of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500® Index. Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EFX.
FICO (NYSE:FICO) is the leader in analytics and decision management technology, transforming business by making every decision count. FICO combines trusted advice, world-class analytics, and innovative applications to help businesses automate, improve, and connect decisions over customer lifecycles and across the enterprise. Clients in 80 countries work with FICO to increase customer loyalty and profitability, reduce fraud losses, manage credit risk, meet regulatory and competitive demands, and rapidly build market share. FICO also helps millions of individuals manage their credit health through its consumer website, www.myFICO.com.
Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Information
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, 2009, and its last quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended December 31, 2009. 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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