12:38 PM

“Balance” the Theme for 2009 TransUnion Financial Services Summit

Chicago, May 20, 2009 – With the economy expected to face continued strain into the first part of 2010, much of the discussion at the 2009 TransUnion Financial Services Summit centered on the balance needed to successfully manage risk, maintain customer loyalty, withstand regulatory scrutiny and meet investor expectations through these difficult times.  Furthermore, dialogue concentrated on developing strategies to capitalize on the growth opportunities that will present themselves in the eventual recovery.

More than 70 financial services executives gathered for two days of meetings in Chicago to hear presentations from leaders at major financial institutions across the nation as well as TransUnion subject matter experts.

“One of the major reasons TransUnion organized the Summit was to facilitate a high-level, open discussion about the current state of the economy and best practices within the industry, aimed at ensuring financial institutions continue to move in a positive direction,” said Steve Sassaman, executive vice president in TransUnion’s financial services group.  “We are pleased with how our message of balance in risk management resonated with so many of our financial services colleagues, and that a considered and strategic risk management policy will help them and the industry going forward, both in times of economic strain and in times of economic strength.”

Key speakers at the Summit included senior leaders from the American Bankers Association, BECU (formerly Boeing Employees Credit Union), The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, The Boston Consulting Group, Discover Financial Services, Marcus Partners LLC and National City Bank (now a part of PNC).

Discussion topics in the two-day summit centered on the following concepts: 

  • Using industry-level statistics and trends to provide additional insight into the performance of individual portfolios, the influence of economic factors on various geographic footprints and the cyclicality of the lending business.

  • Effectively identifying risk—and changes in risk—at both the individual consumer and the aggregate portfolio levels, and executing treatment strategies in a timely manner to minimize loss exposure and take advantage of growth opportunities.

  • Exploring the customer wallet by analyzing key credit attributes along the dimension of “on us/off us” credit dynamics, illuminating important consumer behavior that can be translated into powerful new marketing and risk management treatments.

  • Another application of multiple account dynamics: understanding how the distribution of initial ARM resets will shift toward near-prime and prime consumers, and how these consumers—who have traditionally been considered lower risk—will create unprecedented challenges.

  • The importance in an environment of increased regulatory scrutiny of taking advantage of key industry solutions that centralize risk management functions across the enterprise, and how to capitalize on cross-sell opportunities with existing customers while increasing the profitability of new customers.

The conference closed on the second day with a focus on positioning the industry for recovery.  Brad Henderson of The Boston Consulting Group said, “While it is clear that lenders must act to manage the risks inherent in the current economic recession, it would be shortsighted not to plan for the inevitable recovery. Developing now a cautious but assertive acquisition strategy and a coherent, thoughtful approach to underwriting loans and managing portfolio risk in an economic upturn are critical to taking full advantage of the recovery when it does occur.”