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Europeans Are More Likely Now To Switch Banks And Use Alternative Sources Of Credit, Bankers Report In FICO-Efma Survey

LONDON, July 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --  FICO (NYSE: FICO), a leading predictive analytics and decision management software company, and Efma today announced the results of the eighth European Credit Risk Survey, which measures retail bankers' outlook for credit delinquencies and  the availability of credit. Bankers also responded to questions about changing customer behavior, noting that customers are more likely than before to switch accounts to a different bank, complain to a regulator and request changes to their mortgage terms.

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In the May- June 2013 survey, 41 percent of bankers said customers are more likely than before to switch their savings account to a different bank, and 42 percent said the same for current accounts. By contrast, just 14 percent said customers were more likely than before to open a new account at their current bank. While 54 percent of respondents said customers are more likely than before to complain to a regulator, just 18 percent said customers were more likely to refer their bank to a friend.

Additionally, more than two-thirds of respondents said that customers are more likely than before to request changes to their mortgage contract. And more than 50 percent said that customers are more likely to use alternative sources of credit.

"Unsatisfied customers are more likely to take their business elsewhere," said Daniel Melo, senior director of solution consulting for FICO in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. "This is why so many European banks are now focused on measures such as the Net Promoter Score, so they can understand the severity of customers' dissatisfaction and address it. Banks clearly can no longer view their customers as complacent."

"We are measuring our success using NPS, which we started using a few months ago," said John Pears, credit risk and operations director at Shop Direct Group in the UK. "We are finding this gives us greater insights and more actionable feedback than a customer satisfaction survey. There is a big difference between being asked if something is OK and being asked if you would actually recommend the company."

"CaixaBank has developed an internal quality indicator, the Personal Service Index (ISP), that we use to understand the needs of our customers through the sales network," said Manuel Marcet Alcaraz, director of risk policy and infrastructure at Spain's CaixaBank. "This tool has helped us monitor trends and service levels, and implement actions to improve our services. Innovation and technology are key priorities to deliver on customer expectations. For example, our customer transactions through mobile banking are already the second largest channel, after internet banking."

The survey found that the forecast "credit gap" for small businesses has risen, after falling in the last survey. While 46 percent of bankers believe the amount of credit requested by SMEs will rise, only 35 percent believe the credit supply will rise. For consumers, the gap is smaller -- 39 percent foresee a demand increase, 33 percent foresee a supply increase.

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