Emerging From COVID-19: Consumer and Financial Institution Perspectives
COVID-19 has had an immeasurable impact on our society – societally, technologically and most certainly economically.
During the first 13 weeks of the pandemic, there were 45.7 million initial claims for unemployment, or 3.5 million per week. To put this in perspective, during the Great Recession of 2007-2009, the average weekly total initial claims were 476,000, and the largest single week was 659,000.
It’s been four years since Raddon asserted in our study, Channels and Payments Insights: High-Touch and High-Tech Consumers Are the Norm, that “most consumers … are using electronic channels in addition to, rather than in lieu of, traditional banking channels.” Since then, our research repeatedly has confirmed that consumers like the option of multiple ways of doing business with their financial institutions.
Strategic Planning in a Post-Pandemic Environment (Part 2)
More than any year in generations, 2020 has brought a wave of uncertainty to the marketplace. But it has also spurred an innovative, thoughtful response from businesses across industries – especially financial services. As banks and credit unions take on the strategic planning process in this watershed year, they do so with a new vision toward customer and member service, branch management and even disaster recovery.
Strategic Planning in a Post-Pandemic Environment (Part 1)
As the foundation of the financial services industry, banks and credit unions must continue to manage day-to-day operations but also keep an eye toward the future, as the world feels its way through life during and after COVID-19. With the industry changing before our eyes, strategic planning in 2020 is even more critical to financial institutions.
COVID-19: The Future of Lending Can’t Get Here Soon Enough
The economic impact of civic shutdowns, business closures and layoffs in response to combating the novel coronavirus places local banks and credit unions at the center of helping to preserve, if not salvage, the financial well-being of their communities.
On March 22, financial industry regulators released an interagency statement encouraging financial institutions to help borrowers and giving leeway on risk classification requirements for certain loan modifications amid COVID-19.
By: Jan Trifts and Marcy Scanlin, Strategic Advisors
As the financial strain of shelter-in-place mandates wears on consumers, Raddon experts expect to see two divergent consumer deposit behaviors that financial institutions will need to address soon. First, some consumers will be looking for liquidity as they need immediate access to their money for living expenses. Second, some will be looking for longer-term options as a flight to safety as financial markets fluctuate.
The economic impact of COVID-19 becomes increasingly significant as the lockdown extends. In the past five weeks, 26.5 million people filed initial claims for unemployment. To put this into perspective, that is almost as many people as those filing for unemployment in all of 2018, 2019 and the first 11 weeks of 2020 combined – a total of 115 weeks.
Although there are differing opinions and predictions about the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the economy, there is one undeniable truth: Right now, the consumer is in quite a state of concern. The focus and actions of financial institutions over the next several months – and perhaps longer – will be critical to our economic recovery process.
As many small businesses struggle to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, financial institutions have an opportunity to step in and extend a lifeline to small business owners, many of whom are relying on their financial institutions to provide resources, insight and stability.
By proactively reaching out to small business owners, instituting provisions to provide them relief, and connecting them with local, state and federal programs, financial institutions can make a meaningful difference now and create long-term loyalty among small business accountholders.
2019 turned out to be a year of solid if not spectacular economic growth coupled with continuing challenges for our industry. Earnings were stronger for many financial institutions even in the face of flat or even declining margins. Loan loss experience was at historically low levels for many institutions, while others were beginning to see slight upticks in this area. Challenges to non-interest income continue to be apparent as the younger generations find less value in historically strong contributors such as overdraft protection programs.
When the Great Recession ended in June 2009, financial institutions and the consumers they serve were eager for brighter days, after living through a period of staggering unemployment, unprecedented decline in real estate values, record levels of foreclosures, and an implosion of automobile sales. While there have been 11 recessions since the end of World War II in 1945, none impacted the consumer or financial institutions as significantly as the 2007-08 financial crisis.
How did we do in our industry predictions for 2019? Here are the predictions we offered up one year ago, along with an assessment of our foresight. Overall, our crystal ball was good, but with a few notable exceptions, which were due to the Federal Reserve’s reversal of its interest rate course.
By now, you’ve likely heard discussion of a possible oncoming economic recession. The talk of an inverted yield curve and its predictive ability regarding recessions has been bandied about in the financial as well as the mainstream press.
Is a recession likely? The answer is an unqualified yes. But then again, the answer to that question is always yes. The real question is when it will come. And a related question is how severe it will be.
It’s that time of year! Time to prepare for next year and to plan for the annual Raddon Conference, held in Chicago on November 4th to 6th. Given all the uncertainty about the economy and rate environment, we hope to shine a light on the way forward for you. Here are five big strategic questions for us to answer as we plan for 2020:
Each year, Raddon brings together many of the industry’s top leaders and visionaries to our invitation-only CEO Forum. This year’s event took place earlier this month in Dana Point, California, with more than 75 executives collaborating for two days of engaging and interactive discussions with their peers. Join us as we reflect back on some of the key takeaways from the 2019 Raddon CEO Forum.
Raddon recently hit the road for a series of workshops with participants in our Performance Analytics program. We hosted sessions in 17 cities east of the Mississippi, meeting with over 500 financial services executives along the way. (Note: We’ll be visiting the western half of the country in June; registration is now open for those sessions.)
2018 was a good year for the economy generally and for the financial services industry. We experienced reasonably good GDP growth, especially in the second and third quarters, and we spent the entire year at an unemployment rate of 4% or lower. In the financial services sector, loan growth continued at a strong pace, to the point that many financial institutions are facing liquidity concerns and for the first time in over a decade are engaged in deposit wars. Earnings also improved for the majority of financial institutions, a result of improving net interest margins helped by four rate
Every year Raddon publishes our set of predictions for the upcoming year. Many publications offer predictions. However, we also review the accuracy of our predictions one year later, which makes us somewhat unique in the realm of prognostication.
Here are the predictions we offered up one year ago, along with an assessment of our foresight. Overall, our crystal ball was fairly clear.
In a not unexpected development, the Federal Reserve raised short term interest rates again at its Wednesday meeting this week. This is the ninth rate hike since December 2015, and the fourth in 2018. At the meeting, the Federal Reserve also indicated that the pace of rate increases is likely to slow in 2019. What this means exactly is not certain, but the likelihood of four or even three rate increases in 2019 is not high. In fact, 11 of 17 officials expect no more than two rate increases next year.
Another Raddon conference is in the books, and what an event it was! So many factors came together to make it exceptional – insightful keynote speakers, engaging breakout sessions, Raddon Rocket cocktails, reasonably good Chicago weather – that everyone involved had a blast.
If you didn’t make it this year, be sure to plan for next year’s event. In the meantime, here are seven key takeaways from the 2018 conference about the industry and the economy.
Early in 2017 we compiled our predictions for the upcoming year. These were a mix of economic and industry predictions. How accurate were these predictions? As it turns out, we were mostly on the mark in our predictions, at least in terms of direction if not always in magnitude. Here is a review of our 2017 predictions and an assessment of the accuracy of each.
Declining overdraft income makes lower income households challenging to serve profitably. Andrew Vahrenkamp, Senior Research Analyst at Raddon, gives some ideas on how to serve these consumers effectively and efficiently.
Recent changes to the US tax code will affect homeowners with mortgage and home equity products in a number of ways. In this Raddon Report, we look at what has changed, who will be affected, the impact of the change on homeowners, and what institutions can do to market their mortgage and equity products in this new environment.
Even if they never use it, consumers still value protection on their checking accounts to avoid overdraft and non-sufficient funds (NSF) events – perhaps to the consternation of some regulatory bodies and consumer advocate groups.
At the height of our country’s financial crisis, the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) adopted the policy of “quantitative easing” where it (a quasi-political arm of our federal government) goes into the marketplace to buy long-dated securities and mortgage-backed bonds to directly lower their interest rates. To be sure, this policy which adheres to macroeconomic theory helped end our country’s economic collapse in 2009 and may have helped keep our economy muddling along in the ensuing years.
Three seminal but seemingly unrelated events are suggestive of the pressures the financial services industry is likely to face in 2014. These pressures are changing the fundamental business models of financial institutions. First is the decision by US District Judge Richard Leon to send back to the Fed for revision its cap on debit card interchange.