Fiserv Survey Finds Executive Optimism
Lending will be a bright spot this year but the regulatory burden continues to drag on growth and innovation, according to a new survey of financial services executives from Fiserv Inc.
More than 46% of the more than 900 respondents – senior managers at credit unions, banks and other financial institutions – said they were “somewhat optimistic” for the overall economy in 2014, while 9% said they were “somewhat” or “very pessimistic”, and another 42% thought this year would be about the same as 2013.
The responses were gathered in the 2014 Fiserv Boardroom Series Outlook Survey distributed in early January to the 17,000 members of the Fiserv Boardroom Series community, the Brookfield, Wis., company said.
“Recurring macro themes in the survey comments provided by participants were focused on dysfunction in Washington, D.C., persistent long-term unemployment, uncertainty from Fed policies and the potential for a stock market correction,” Fiserv said Thursday in its report on the survey.
“However, many participants cited more positive fundamentals, such as strengthening home prices, and institution-specific metrics like increased mortgage and auto lending that have shown increased consumer confidence in their markets,” the company said.
Institutions of $1 billion or less rated consumer lending as their greatest area of growth in 2014 Fiserv said, while larger institutions cited corporate and small business customers.
"Financial institutions are saying they can't just rely on growth in any one area, they're going to have find growth across the entire span of their business," said Virginia Heyburn, vice president for insights and advocacy at Fiserv.
“This is a challenge because they have to differentiate and specialize at the same time. That means practicing segmentation to target certain customers with certain products but also differentiating across all of their products and services to stand out,” Heyburn said. “It's not about looking to be all things to all people, but practicing segmentation across all areas of the operating model.”