LONDON—March 26, 2012—FICO (NYSE:FICO), the leading provider of analytics and decision management technology, and Efma today announced the results of the fourth European Credit Risk Survey, which shows a grim outlook for 2012. In the survey, which queried credit risk management professionals in January and February, 79% of respondents forecast a new European recession for 2012.
Opinions on the likelihood of a new European recession varied by market. For example, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (the DACH region), just 45 percent of respondents forecast recession, and in the UK and Ireland, the count went down to 40 percent. However, 76 percent of respondents in Central and Eastern Europe said a new European recession is likely this year.
When asked if they believed their own country would enter a new recession in 2012, 100 percent of Spanish and Portuguese respondents said yes, and 44 percent saying they strongly agreed with this statement. More than half (53 percent) of respondents from the UK and Ireland forecast a local recession, compared with just 25 percent from the DACH region.
Risk managers also see a tough year ahead for the housing market. Asked if it would end the year stronger than it is now, just 2 percent said yes, and 60 percent said no. The DACH region had the most positive outlook, with 56 percent of respondents saying the housing market would get stronger in 2012. By contrast, just 18 percent of respondents from the UK and Ireland agreed, and no one in Spain and Portugal forecast an improvement.
“We don’t see housing markets improving until job markets improve, and right now the forecast looks rocky at best,” said Mike Gordon, FICO vice president and managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “These forecasts echo those in our recent survey of US credit risk professionals, who said housing prices would not return to pre-recession levels until at least 2020. In countries like the US and the UK, the housing market also won’t rebound until the backlog of distressed properties is cleared out.”
Patrick Desmarès, secretary general of Efma, added: “With the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis still playing out, bankers have every reason to be pessimistic. Until the political situation at the core of Europe is resolved, or the global economy improves to the point where it lifts European markets, confidence among bankers and consumers will be at a low ebb.”
A detailed report, including specific results for the UK, Germany/Austria/Switzerland and Spain/Portugal, is available online. Participants included credit-granting institutions ranging from local banks to global institutions. More than 100 representatives from 31 European countries and 79 companies responded to this survey.
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.
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Efma, a not-for-profit association formed in 1971 by bankers and insurers, specialises in retail financial marketing and distribution. Today, more than 3,000 brands in 130 countries are Efma members, including over 80% of Europe’s largest retail financial institutions.
Efma offers the retail financial service community exclusive access to a multitude of resources, databases, studies, articles, news feeds and publications. Efma also provides numerous networking opportunities through work groups, online communities and international meetings.
For more information: www.efma.com
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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, 2011 and its last quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended December 31, 2011. 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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