Small Businesses will Struggle to Obtain Credit in 2012, Say Bankers in FICO-Efma Survey

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LONDON—April 2, 2012—FICO (NYSE:FICO), the leading provider of analytics and decision management technology, and Efma today announced further results of the fourth European Credit Risk Survey, showing that a “credit gap” looms for small businesses in 2012. The survey, which queried credit risk management professionals in January and February, found that 71 percent of respondents across 31 European countries said small businesses will find it harder to get credit in 2012.

The survey also found the widest credit gap for small businesses since the survey was launched a year ago. 31 percent of respondents say the aggregate amount of credit requested by small businesses will increase, while just 13 percent say the amount of credit extended will increase.

“The survey results show that credit demand across Europe will shrink, but supply will shrink even faster, particularly for small businesses,” said Mike Gordon, FICO vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “It’s notable that in the UK, which has had a tremendous focus on small business lending through such efforts as Project Merlin, our survey says the increases in demand and supply will be roughly equal, and half as many respondents, just 36 percent, say small businesses will find it harder to get credit.”

Consumers will also find it harder to get credit in 2012, according to 61 percent of respondents. While a grim economic outlook may be part of the reason, risk professionals clearly pointed a finger at banking regulations. 78 percent of respondents said banking regulations will reduce credit availability. In the UK and Ireland, that percentage grew to a whopping 91 percent, the highest for any region in the survey.

“Unfortunately, regulations aimed at preventing another credit meltdown appear to be stunting the recovery,” said Gordon. “Banks that need to hold ever-greater amounts of capital can’t put as much credit on the street. In our work with banking clients across Europe, one of the top priorities is developing credit strategies that balance risk management with capital preservation and growth.”

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.

About FICO
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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About Efma
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:

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, 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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