LONDON, March 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- FICO (NYSE:FICO), the leading provider of analytics and decision management technology, today released data showing that average sales per card rose to a two-year high of just over 600 pounds Sterling. At the same time, more UK cardholders are current in their card payments than at any point in the last two years.
The latest data from the FICO® Benchmark Reporting Service showed that average card sales in December 2011 were highest for premium cards at 758.71 pounds Sterling, which was just below the last peak, in December 2010. For Irish cards the figure was 593.81 pounds Sterling, for classic cards it was 537.93 pounds Sterling, and for student cards it was 283.87 pounds Sterling. The classic and student card figures were also a two-year high, while the Irish cards sales were the highest since September 2010.
"The increases in average sales weren't dramatic, but they do suggest some consumer resilience," said Mike Gordon, FICO vice president and managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "Average sales per card has risen 14% since hitting a two-year low last March, and while we would expect December to be higher it was also up slightly over December 2010. That's good news for retailers and for card issuers."
Card performance was also better than at any point since early 2010. In December 2011, 93.7% of all UK card accounts were current, meaning they were not behind in payments. Furthermore, this percentage was up slightly over November, while in the December 2010 holiday shopping period the percentage of accounts that were current fell slightly. Correspondingly, the percentages of accounts that were one, two or three cycles behind in payments each fell in December 2011 to at least a quarterly low.
"People are managing their credit prudently even in the current economic slump," said Gordon. "We also saw a drop in cash as a percent of sales since September, again showing very conservative card management. These figures support the Bank of England's figures last month showing that consumers are repaying their cards and loans at the highest rate in nearly 20 years."
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 vs. the industry, with 24 months' worth of data. For greater insight, subscribers can drill into the data by vintage of accounts.
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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