The survey, conducted for FICO by the Professional Risk Managers' International Association (PRMIA), also found that 79 percent of respondents believe the delinquency rate on small business loans would remain flat or decrease during the next six months. This was one of the most optimistic forecasts for small business lending in the survey's three-year history.
"This quarter's survey was positive overall, but the results for small business lending were particularly striking," said Dr. Andrew Jennings, FICO's chief analytics officer and head of FICO Labs. "In the past, the banking professionals we survey haven't been as optimistic about credit for small businesses as they have been for other types of lending. The upbeat sentiment makes me think it's possible that we'll see small businesses picking up the pace of investing and hiring in the months ahead."
Supply and Demand for Small Business Credit Seen Increasing
More than 70 percent of respondents believe the amount of credit requested by small businesses will increase over the next six months. This would be a change in the recent trend — FDIC data has shown lackluster demand for credit by small businesses over the past three years.
A majority of respondents (52 percent) also expect the aggregate amount of credit extended to small businesses to increase during the next six months, while just 10 percent expect there to be a decrease in the credit extended to small businesses. Those figures were 42 percent and 15 percent, respectively, in last quarter's survey.
"These results are much more positive than we see in our survey of European credit risk managers, released earlier this month," Jennings noted. "Only 41 percent of European bankers surveyed believed that small businesses would request more credit, and just 29 percent expected an increase in the amount of credit granted to small businesses. Both credit demand and supply are suppressed by the continuing economic troubles across much of Europe."
A detailed report of FICO's quarterly survey is available at http://www.prmia.org/PRMIA-News/Fico-1stQuarterApr2013Rev1.pdf. The survey included responses from 255 risk managers at banks throughout the U.S. in February and March 2013. FICO and PRMIA extend a special thanks to Columbia Business School's Center for Decision Sciences for its assistance in analyzing the survey results.
The Professional Risk Managers' International Association (PRMIA) is a higher standard for risk professionals, with 65 chapters and more than 85,000 members worldwide. A non-profit, member-led association, PRMIA is dedicated to defining and implementing the best practices of risk management through education, including the Professional Risk Manager (PRM) designation and Associate PRM certificate; webinar, online, classroom and in-house training; events; networking; and online resources. More information can be found at www.PRMIA.org.
FICO (NYSE: FICO) 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. 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 December 31, 2012. 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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