Bank's priority? Improve credit risk models

Ewan Dunbar our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 4/24/2013 10:03 AM

FICO, a leading predictive analytics and decision management software company, and Efma today announced the results of the seventh European Credit Risk Survey, which measures retail bankers´ outlook for the availability of credit along with their investment priorities for the year ahead. In the February survey, completed by 130 credit risk professionals from 41 countries, the forecast for a “credit gap” between credit supply and demand fell sharply from the last survey, conducted this past fall. For consumers, the projected gap was just 4 percentage points, with 30 percent of respondents projecting some increase in the amount of credit requested and 26 percent projecting an increase in supply. By comparison, in the autumn 2012 survey the spread between projected demand and supply was a full 20 percentage points.

For small businesses, the gap was even smaller. In the new survey, 31 percent of respondents reported that they expect the aggregate amount of credit requested by small businesses to increase, and 29 percent expect the amount granted by lenders to also increase.

“Most of the new business growth in our corporate sector is coming from the SME segment,” said Dr. Cüneyt Sezgin, board and audit committee member at Turkey´s Garanti Bank in the FICO/Efma report. “Loans represent the primary relationship between banks and SMEs, as other financing alternatives for smaller companies are not well-developed in this market. Cash loans to SMEs represented 37 percent of total Turkish lira cash loans in 2012, and this ratio has been continuously increasing.”

“Despite the economic challenges in many countries, lenders are telling us they´re prepared to meet a modest increase in credit demand,” said Mike Gordon, senior vice president for FICO sales, services and marketing. “Given last month´s report that European banks have dramatically cut their Basel III capital shortfall, it appears that they gradually may be able to make more capital available for borrowers.”

European bankers also laid out their priorities for investment in analytics. More than 40 percent of respondents reported they will invest in improving their analytics, with the highest priorities being credit risk models for both new credit applicants (61 percent of respondents) and existing customers (50 percent). In addition, 38 percent of respondents said they will increase their investment in risk analytics that incorporate Big Data.

“Although consumer lending is a mature process using analytics to support risk classification, marketing, underwriting and authorizations, predictive models must constantly be calibrated to accommodate changes in consumers´ behavior,” said Manuel Goncalves, director of the Risk and Decision Models Unit at Portugal-based Millennium bcp in the report. “These changes are driven not only by the adverse economic context but also by greater mobility and social networking. At the same time, there are new and richer sources of data that can be used to improve risk management and deliver a better customer experience.”

The delinquency forecast was nearly unchanged from the last survey, with at least 40 percent of respondents forecasting an increase in delinquencies during the next six months on mortgages, credit cards and small business loans. “We don´t expect a reversal of this trend until the economies of Europe show greater recovery,” said Patrick Desmarès, secretary general of Efma. “That said, Europe is a heterogeneous region, with some countries preparing for a triple-dip recession while others, such as Turkey, look quite robust. The uncertainty across much of the region is particularly challenging for multi-national banks.”


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Why Businesses Need To Put Fraud Prevention Front And Centre

If Fraudsters are anything, they are opportunists. Once the first new stories about COVID-19 started running, it wasn’t long until they were joined by tales of fraudsters selling face masks and hand sanitiser, asking panicked customers to transfer money and then disappearing without a trace.  And it’s not the first time we’ve seen this. Fraudsters are notoriously wise to periods of heightened sensitivity and uncertainty, often preying on the vulnerable. The 2008 financial crisis saw an increase in email-based phishing scams and a decade’s worth of technological advancements means that Fraud remains a many-headed beast.  Add into the mix a change in working styles and environments, and many businesses are more exposed to potential security breaches than they have been in years. Now, more than ever, companies need to make sure their Data is well protected and secure. THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENCE If you’re part of, or leading, a Fraud Prevention team, there are a number of ways you can support your business and keep on top of the situation. Here are just a few: Increase and update your investigation capacity. This team are the front line of your business’ Fraud defence team, interacting with customers daily and spotting new scams. During an uncertain period, retention and team stability is key. These are the people that understand the day-to-day Fraud challenges you face and will be essential in fighting any future challenges.  Sharing Fraud Prevention knowledge is key. Throughout this crisis, trends will be evolving quickly and working collaboratively across teams, and even other businesses, is the best way to combat this. We consistently hear from Fraud Managers that the key to beating Fraud is to share information and knowledge. Despite this, there is always a hesitation amongst companies to admit that they have been a victim to an attack. Perhaps now is the time to change this. Invest in Machine Learning and real time updates for your Fraud defences. Fraud technology has moved on from script writing in SQL and rule changes. Businesses need a real time reactive response and now is an important time to be embracing new technologies. There are a number AI-driven off the shelf packages available or, for a more bespoke solution, a Fraud Data Scientist can create something internally. Educate your team. It may seem simple, but the Fraud team can play a crucial role in minimising any potential risk from human-error. Educating employees on the risks they may face when working remotely, or what scams they need to look out for, is one of the most effective ways of fighting Fraud.  PREPARING YOUR BUSINESS Success in the fight against Fraud isn’t purely down to the group of individuals that make up the Fraud team. As a business, now is the time to be making decisions that can help you stay ahead of the Fraudsters. Here are some considerations: Consider investing in tech as an your immediate response. Not just to bolster your Fraud defences (although there are plenty of vendors offering AI-based solutions), but also technology for your employees to keep work as normal as possible such a sharing platforms, DevOps technology and video calling networks. One of the best ways to block some of the vulnerability loopholes fraudsters are trying to exploit is to keep working habits as close to normal as possible as you move to a remote solution. Be transparent with your customers. Consumers are being incredibly savvy and noting how businesses respond to the pandemic in a way that could have a big impact when normality returns. But they’re also being more empathetic and are willing to understand difficulties. For example, shopping delivery service Ocado were open and transparent when their system could not initially deal with demand. Having communicated the difficulties, worked through their issues and gone the extra mile to let customers know how they can be supported in this time, the received minimal backlash. There is an understanding that we’re all in this together. Finally, if you have the budget, continue to staff up - particularly in competitive fields such as Data Science. A lot of top Data professionals are currently at home and much more accessible than they have been in a long time. With a number of ways to remotely interview and onboard both permanent and contract staff, if you are able to get begin conversations with them now, you’ll have an edge in what will be a very competitive market come later in the year.  If you’re looking to take your next step in the world of Fraud, we may have a role for you, including a number of remote opportunities.  Or, if you’re looking to expand and build out your Fraud team, get in touch with one of expert consultants who will be able to advise on the best remote and long-term processes. 

How Will New Financial Risk Regulations Affect European Banks?

How Will New Financial Risk Regulations Affect European Banks?

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