Ben Johnson WINS Director of Sales Marketing Award

first_imgBen Johnson WINS Director of Sales & Marketing AwardBen Johnson WINS Director of Sales & Marketing Award at Outrigger’s Global Awards Night in HawaiiMr. Ben Johnson has been named ‘2018 Director of the Year – Sales and Marketing’ at the Outrigger Hospitality Group’s ‘The Outrigger Way’ annual awards ceremony held in Honolulu, Hawaii.The global achievement awards recognise significant contributions to Outrigger’s success in the past year, along with dedication and commitment to living the company’s values.Well-known for his signature beard, unique sense of humour and his infectious laugh, Ben joined Outrigger as Area Director of Sales & Marketing for Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort and Castaway Island in November 2015.His connection with key wholesalers, airline and industry partners and his own team led to his nomination as an excellent ambassador for the two Fiji properties and the Outrigger Hospitality Group in general.Castaway Island General Manager, Mr. Steven Andrews said that the Outrigger Group and specifically Castaway Island were extremely lucky to have such a loyal and committed advocate and one who certainly deserves recognition for his dedication and hard work.“We have had our challenges in Fiji but Ben has established excellent relationships within the industry and works with them to deliver the best experiences for our guests.  He is all about showing the world what Fiji has to offer,” he said.Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort’s acting resort General Manager, Mr. Russell Blaik, said that as a leader Ben was very accommodating and believed in the process of consultation and the soliciting of input from his team.“He encourages his team to freely share their thoughts and contribute towards discussions aimed at achieving growth,” Russell said.Chief Executive Officer and President, Mr. Jeff Wagoner, personally congratulated Ben and expressed his sincere gratitude for sharing the Outrigger vision and for providing outstanding leadership and inspiration to others.“Hosts like you are the foundation to the success of Outrigger, now and in the future,” Mr. Wagoner said.Source = Outrigger Hospitality Grouplast_img read more

Abu Dhabi Named as One of the Worlds Most Cultural Cities by

first_imgSource = Skyscanner Abu Dhabi Named as One of the World’s Most Cultural Cities by SkyscannerAbu Dhabi Named as One of the World’s Most Cultural Cities by SkyscannerEmirate listed as one of the globe’s ‘capitals of culture’ by renowned travel fare websiteAbu Dhabi has been singled out as one of the most cultural cities in the world in a recent online list compiled by Skyscanner, the popular travel fare website.The UAE capital made the exclusive list after the Chinese-owned website identified its top five destinations for expanding any travellers’horizons with an arts and culture-filled holiday.Coming in at number two, only preceded by Florence in Italy, the UAE capital was singled out for being one of the Middle East’s most exciting cultural centres, featuring the National Theatre and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.The website also highlighted the addition to the emirate of Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2017, with the museum having been designed by Pritzker-winning French architect Jean Nouvel an additional draw for the UAE capital as a cultural destination.The website added to a description of the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s significance as the Arab world’s first universal museum with further information about the emirate’s outstanding dining scene, describing it as being “as diverse as its multicultural population”.The fascinating growth of interest in electronica music in Abu Dhabi was also highlighted, adding a modern element to the cultural appeal of the emirate.“For Abu Dhabi to have been named as one of the most cultural cities in the world reflects positively on the work the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi has done to position the emirate at the very forefront of people’s minds when they consider their next great cultural adventure,” said HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.“This recognition also reinforces our resolve to continue to strive for excellence in our efforts to promote our emirate as a destination like no other. Year-on-year we are seeing record numbers come to visit the UAE capital, coming to experience everything from Qasr Al Hosn, to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the heritage sites in Al Ain. Making it onto this shortlist from such a reputable website shows that our ceaseless efforts are having the desired effect.”The Skyscanner website list also included a recommendation for hotel accommodation in the emirate, as well as links to the best hotels and the best deals on flights to the UAE capital.The online list from the Edinburgh-based website also included the aforementioned Florence, which was singled out for being ‘the birthplace of the Renaissance’, as well as highlighting Mexico City, Austin in Texas, USA, and finally Kyoto in Japan.Skyscanner is available in over 30 languages. The news section of the website includes regular news from the travel and flight industry and travel tips for customers.last_img read more

UNWTO and Mountain Tourism Cluster to partner on addressing seasonality

first_imgUNWTO and the Mountain Tourism Cluster have signed an agreement to collaborate on issues of seasonality in mountain destinations.The agreement came days before the international community celebrated International Mountain Day. This year’s celebrations focused on the promotion of mountain products as a tool to boost local economies. Tourism can play a fundamental role in this regard as one of the main economic sectors in many mountain destinations.Seasonality is a common issue for a large number of tourism destinations worldwide, resulting in important economic challenges in terms of the profitability of companies and wealth generation in destinations. Seasonality also has considerable environmental and socio-cultural impacts including congestion management, use of natural resources, seasonable employment and social pressure.A new UNWTO Affiliate Member, the Mountain Tourism Cluster works to find innovative and creative ways of overcoming seasonality and create sustainable development-related strategies in mountain destinations.“Given the impact and complexity of seasonality in tourism, it is fundamental to ensure that innovative programmes are put in place by public and private sectors that increase visitation during off peak months and foster demand all year around. We are thus very pleased to be collaborating with the Mountain Tourism on research and actions aimed at this important challenge,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.last_img read more

PATA Global Insights Conference 2017 examines the future of tourism

first_imgPATA Global Insights Conference was once again a resounding success with nearly 200 delegates hearing from high profile speakers representing major international brands such as Boeing, Microsoft and TripAdvisor.Under the theme ‘R U Future Ready’ and with the support of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and BBC World News, the event took place at the SKYCITY Grand Hotel in Auckland, New Zealand.PATA CEO, Dr. Mario Hardy, said, “This year’s conference programme focused primarily upon the need for the public and private sectors in the travel and tourism industry to prepare for the disruption and innovation that is currently taking place and will take place in the future.”The event examined the issues, threats, challenges and opportunities for New Zealand’s tourism sector in line with the Tourism 2025 Plan and beyond, specifically looking at artificial intelligence, aviation, e-commerce, consumer travel trends, cybercrime, destination brand building and media.The programme also featured a fascinating session with ‘Tomorrow’s Tourism Leaders’. PATA and ATEED presented the Tourism Leaders Forum with the title ‘Being Future Ready’. Tourism industry leaders in New Zealand, including Nick Hill, CEO – ATEED; Chris Roberts, CEO of Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA); Stephen England-Hall, CEO of Tourism New Zealand, and Cam Wallace – Chief Revenue Officer at Air New Zealand, addressed the challenges and opportunities facing public and private organisations as the nation seeks to maximise the sector’s economic benefits in line with the Tourism 2025 Plan and beyond.last_img read more

Middle Easts largest aquarium now in Oman

first_imgBuilt inside the Mall of Muscat, the aquarium is first of its kind in Oman and the largest in the Middle East covering 8,000 sq m of the mall and spanning three floors. The Oman aquarium opened doors to visitors in April showcasing around 1,000 types of Omani fishes and 30,000 marine animals including sharks, lobsters, turtles, rays, local corals, penguins and crocodiles.The main tank has a walk-through tunnel for visitors to get an up-close and personal look at the variety of fishes inside. The ticket is priced at OMR 8.5 for adults and OMR 6.5 for children.In addition to the newly launched aquarium, the Mall of Muscat also has recreational city (Fabi Land), cinema complex with 14 lounges, more than 200 retail outlets and soon to open Snow Park.last_img read more

Travel startup TripShire launches its web app in India

first_imgTripShire, a travel-based technology start-up, headquartered in Gurugram has been recently launched in the country. They launched a unique application to simplify international holiday planning. A traveller can now just visit their website, customise the trip with real-time price estimates, and book when they’re satisfied with their holiday plans.This web-based travel platform provides convenience, which has never been available elsewhere. It not only helps the traveller to find the most exciting deals on tours, sightseeing, flights and even commutes but also saves precious time.TripShire’s founders have been taking a different approach to other travel companies. They wanted to give travellers a better planning experience while also saving their agents time to focus on more important matters: delivering hassle-free holiday experience to their customers.The average vacationer connects with two to three travel agents to get the best deal when planning an international trip. As most of the process is offline, it means days of searching, lots of talking, and plenty of back-and-forth of communication to design the itinerary that the traveller likes. But with TripShire, a traveller can do all of it in an instant.Speaking about the same, Zenith Karri, Co-Founder & CEO, TripShire said, “While technology helps in holiday planning and suggestions, we are focused on traveller satisfaction on the trip. That’s where most of our agents focus on: A world-class service.”All the trips are customised by experts to make sure your day is well spent no matter what you choose. It is now easy to discover curated destination deals and activities and unlock maximum value out of the trip.The personalised trips help travellers get an instant picture of how much flights, visa, hotels, commute, food and activities are going to cost for certain duration. It gives travellers a platform where they give suggestions about hotels and activities based on budget and trip type. The recommendations for a family trip differ from a Honeymoon trip. The platform makes it easy to customise, book and get confirmation instantly. They provide holidays for families and honeymooners in particular.last_img read more

Mortgage Fraud Ticked Up in First Quarter Report

first_imgMortgage Fraud Ticked Up in First Quarter: Report Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Housing Affordability Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Fraud Processing Service Providers 2012-06-25 Tory Barringer June 25, 2012 424 Views Although mortgage fraud activity seems to be leveling off, a report from “”””: showed that mortgage fraud continues to cause foreclosure problems for the most victimized states.[IMAGE]The “”_Mortgage Fraud Index_””:, which reflects mostly criminal cases involving law enforcement and court proceedings, showed that mortgage fraud crawled up in the first quarter of 2012. The index was 1151, slightly above Q4 2011’s 1141 index. The highest recorded index was 2790 in fourth-quarter 2008.””Activity has been fairly consistent as smaller mortgage bankers hit with repurchases continue to uncover fraud committed during the housing boom years,”” said _Mortgage Daily_ founder and publisher Sam Garcia. “”We continue to see a correlation between elevated fraud levels and foreclosures in states like Arizona, California, and Florida.””[COLUMN_BREAK]According to Garcia, most of the cases involve crimes committed five or more years ago, a sign that improved technology and increased fraud prevention practices are reducing losses on recent cases.Florida held the highest state index with 163. The state has held the number-one position for four of the past five quarters. For the first time since the index’s inception in 2006, North Carolina broke into the top five with an index of 53.Florida also sat in first place based on dollar amount involved, with losses more than doubling from the previous quarter. Florida has been in the top five states in this category in nearly every report since the index launched.*Top State Indices* ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ó Florida (163)├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ó California (160)├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ó Minnesota (70)├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ó Ohio (60)├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ó North Carolina (53)*Top States by Amount* ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ó Florida ($260 million)├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ó North Carolina ($226 million)├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ó California ($208 million)├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ó New York ($144 million)├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ó Nevada ($134 million) in Data, Government, Origination, Servicing, Technology Share Sharelast_img read more

The Housing Freeze Is Weather Really to Blame

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News The Housing Freeze: Is Weather Really to Blame? Home Sales Housing Starts Trulia 2014-02-18 Tory Barringer As the year kicks off to a mediocre start for housing, two camps have emerged: those who say trends indicate a sour turn for the housing market, and those who are more apt to dismiss the worst news as an effect of the last few months’ harsh weather. With major reports on construction and sales data on the way, Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko looked at historical patterns to determine—how much has the weather really influenced housing numbers?Reasoning that “polar vortex” will be the first words on many commentators’ lips should the latest round of data prove disappointing, Kolko calculated the historical relationship between “abnormal” weather and monthly changes in five areas of housing activity: construction starts, permits, new home sales, existing-home sales, and pending home sales.His findings?“Applying the historical patterns to last month’s actual temperature and precipitation shows that January weather probably contributed to a small decline in all five housing activities,” he said. “The January month-over-month housing data coming out in the next two weeks should be 1-2 percent lower than it would have been if last month’s weather had been in line with January norms.”Kolko’s conclusion breaks down to three points:While last month was cold, it was only a few degrees below the historical norm in many areas around the country. “In fact, the Midwest had a slightly colder January in 2009, and the Northeast had colder Januaries in 2003, 2004, and 2009, too,” he said.Temperature isn’t the only factor to consider—precipitation affects housing activity, and all four of the country’s regions ranged from dry to normal throughout the month.The weather was harshest in the Midwest and the Northeast, the two regions that account for the smallest amount of housing activity, while the South and West remained relatively unaffected. “The impact of January’s weather on starts should be most negative in the Northeast and Midwest, so if starts decline most in the South and West, then weather’s not the culprit,” Kolko said.Because of these factors, the economist says that while small declines in housing metrics may reflect the effects of winter storms, any losses beyond a few percentage points may indicate other factors at play.“January’s polar vortex should knock construction and home sales activity down, but only by 1-2 percent,” he concluded. “If sales, starts, or permits drop by more than that, don’t just blame the weather.”center_img February 18, 2014 465 Views Sharelast_img read more

PrivateLabel RMBS Market Remains Unrecovered Since Crisis

first_img in Daily Dose, Headlines, Market Studies, News, Secondary Market Private-Label Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Unrecovered Urban Institute 2015-09-11 Seth Welborn Share September 11, 2015 548 Views center_img Private-Label RMBS Market Remains Unrecovered Since Crisis The private-label residential mortgage-backed securities market has remained stagnant since the financial crisis, even though securitization in many asset classes has resumed (including commercial mortgage-backed securities); a new brief from the Urban Institute examines why the RMBS market has not recovered similar to the way other asset classes have, and contains suggestions for precipitating such a recovery.In the brief, titled “The Rebirth of Securitization: Where is the Private-Label Mortgage Market,” the UI’s Director of Housing Finance Policy, Laurie Goodman, noted that the securitization of residential mortgage-loans backed by government agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been strong while securitization of loans without a government backing has collapsed. While the collapse has not affected high net worth borrowers with perfect credit, since banks compete for these loans, access will become difficult and expensive as the profitability of holding such loans declines in the absence of a PLS market—which may be the impetus for change, Goodman said.In this lending environment, borrowers with less wealth and imperfect credit who do not qualify for government-backed loans are faced with high rates and limited credit availability, according to Goodman. Since banks do not want such loans on their balance sheets, there is no market for the securities of those loans.The problem is not that investors are not willing to take the risk; Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have transferred risk on $667 billion in unpaid principal balance (UPB) through a combined total of 22 Connecticut Avenue Series (CAS) and Structured Agency Credit Risk (STACR) transactions since 2013, according to a report released in August 2015 by the GSEs’ conservator, the FHFA.Three factors explain the difference in volume between securitizations for mortgages and other asset classes, according to Goodman:Mortgages experienced the most severe dislocation of all asset classes;Significant policy changes affecting already outstanding securities post-crisis for mortgages;Private-label securities were “riddled” with conflicts of interest among all key stakeholders while interests of investors and issuers of securities for other asset classes were aligned for the most partOne thing that needs to change in order for the PLS market to recover is the standardization of documentation; currently, there is no such standardization because each securitization sponsor has its own documentation, Goodman said.”The market needs to standardize the documentation so investors can quickly understand how each deal differs from others,” Goodman said. “Given that bank and nonbank originators have different needs, several standard ways to handle the enforcement of reps and warrants may be needed: standard language needs to be used for each securitization across all issuers, and investors must be able to assess quickly which set of clauses has been selected for each deal.”Another change to increase volume in the PLS market is the introduction of a deal agent charged with rep and warrant review on all loans that go more than 60 days delinquent and other loans as needed, as well as enforcing rep and warrant breaches; oversight of servicing; cash flow reconciliation; and communication and reporting to investors, according to Goodman, Previously, there was no one effectively charged with “looking after the investor” in residential mortgage-backed securities.Another change that would boost the PLS market is increasing transparency in the monitoring of servicing operations; Goodman said investors would like servicers to provide better transparency for all loan modifications, including those generated by mortgage settlements. Servicers should also provide transparency on their decisions as to when to employ foreclosure alternatives, Goodman said; the deal agent would then be charged with ensuring that investor interests are upheld during the loan modification/loss mitigation processes.Click here to read the entire brief.last_img read more

LoanDepot Pulls IPO On Eve of Offering

first_imgLoanDepot Pulls IPO On Eve of Offering in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Origination Initial Public Offering loanDepot 2015-11-13 Scott_Morgan On the day before it was set to go public, loanDepot Inc., announced it would delay its initial public offering amid volatile market conditions.According to a statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, the lender was planning to offer 26.4 million shares of its common stock on Friday, valued at $16 to $18 per share. The move was expected to raise $475 million for the company, which was to be valued at $2.6 billion.According to NASDAQ, the company planned to offer as many as 30 million shares.But on Thursday, the company announced that it will postpone the biggest IPO of the week, due to rough conditions in the market. Conditions, have, of course, been stormy on Wall Street to say the least. On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 254.15 points, or nearly 1.5 percent. Over the preceding week, it has dropped a total of 2.3 percent.LoanDepot was founded in the darkest days of the recession in 2010, billing itself as an antidote to big banks that disrupted the home loan market. It has grown into the second-largest non-bank lender in a field that now claims 40 percent of the mortgage market.The IPO, for which the company filed in October, was well-anticipated, but given the recent underwhelming performances of IPOs among financial-technology companies, perhaps it is unsurprising that the lender reacted to recent stock market news with cold feet.CEO and Chairman Anthony Hsieh, however, was considerably more optimistic a month ago, when the IPO-to-come was announced. “Our vision is to deliver a diversified lending model sustainable in all market conditions,” he said then. “We look forward to leading the development of marketplace lending through the introduction of new products and services that provide credit solutions for borrowers with attractive returns for investors.”Somewhat ironically, the Dow Jones industrial Average was higher when loanDepot pulled the IPO than it was during the week it announced it would be going public.LoanDepot has not said when it will make a new IPO, nor whether it will offer the same shares or per-share values.center_img Share November 13, 2015 548 Views last_img read more

Mortgage Debt Declines in Consumer Debt Picture

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News August 9, 2016 525 Views While household debt increased by $35 billion in Q2, the mortgage sector’s share of that debt declined from a huge spike in Q1, according to the latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, issued Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s (NYFED) Center for Microeconomic Data.In the second quarter, consumer debt rose by 0.3 percent to $12.29 trillion, driven mainly by new auto loan and credit card debts. However, national mortgage debt declined by $7 billion. Q1 saw a $120 spike in mortgage debt over Q4 of 2015.Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, were essentially flat in Q2. Mortgage balances shown on consumer credit reports on June 30 stood at $8.36 trillion. Total mortgage debt was up $246 billion since last year, totaling $8.36 trillion. Total housing dent for Q2 was $8.85 trillion. Mortgage originations grew, to $427 billion.HELOCs, also down $7 billion in Q2, were down over the past year, by $12 billion. Total HELOC debt is $478 billion.Q2 also saw improvements in overall delinquency rates and another historical low (over the 18 years of the data sample) in new foreclosures. Overall, the New York Fed reported, delinquency rates in Q2‒‒4.8 percent‒‒continued the trend in place since 2010. Q2’s rate of delinquency dropped 5 percent from previous quarter and 5.6 percent compared to Q2 of 2015 2015. There were 82,000 consumers with new foreclosure notations on their credit reports‒‒another low in the 18-year history of this data set.Of mortgages in early delinquency, 16.1 percent transitioned to 90-plus days delinquent, while 36.9 percent became current.”Today’s report highlights a positive ongoing trend in household debt,” said Donghoon Lee, Research Officer at the New York Fed. “Delinquency rates continue to improve, even as credit has become more widely available.”Non-housing debt balances rose in the second quarter; with increases of $32 billion and $17 billion in auto loans and credit cards, respectively, and a slight decline in student loan balances (-$2 billion). Household Debt Mortgage Debt New York Fed 2016-08-09 Seth Welborncenter_img Mortgage Debt Declines in Consumer Debt Picture Sharelast_img read more

OCC Weighing Bank Charters for FinTechs

first_img Share in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Technology November 3, 2016 620 Views The issue of whether or not to grant a national bank charter to FinTechs that conduct banking activities is being considered by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) as Comptroller Thomas Curry delivered a public address this week in London on “The Banking Revolution: Innovation, Regulation, and Consumer Choice.”Curry has given several public speeches this year in which he acknowledged the exploding popularity of FinTechs, the competition those firms are giving banks, and the importance of responsible innovation. In October, the OCC announced the creation of an Office of Innovation which will be dedicated to responsible innovation in the financial industry. The Office of Innovation will begin operations sometime during the first quarter of 2017.Many FinTechs perform banking activities such as taking deposits, paying checks, or lending money—and while these companies help to expand financial inclusion, that inclusion must be balanced with consumer protections and prudential regulatory concerns, Curry said.“We are still deliberating about whether it makes sense to grant a national bank charter to FinTechs, and under what conditions,” Curry said. “We plan to issue a paper soon to describe our thoughts on this important question and seek comment on our approach.”Opinions about as to how the OCC should handle the situation of whether or not to issue FinTechs a bank charter. On one hand, it has been suggested that national charters could ensure that FinTechs receive the same rigorous, regulatory oversight and ongoing supervision from federal regulators that banks do; others say national charters could help FinTechs navigate the regulatory landscape by consolidating oversight, reducing licensing burden, and applying a uniform set of rules, Curry said. Still others are afraid that a limited bank charter might allow FinTechs to face lighter supervision and escape consumer protections that apply only to depository institutions.“So let me be clear, if the OCC decides to grant a national charter in this area, the institution will be held to the same high standards of safety, soundness, and fairness that other federally chartered institutions must meet,” Curry said. “Having a national charter has tremendous value, and because of that it carries certain responsibilities.”If there is a place for financial companies that focus on certain aspects of banking 10 or 15 years from now, then a regulatory framework and supervision structure needs to be in place to ensure that the companies operate in a safe and sound manner and are fully compliant with all laws and regulations, Curry said.Click here to read Curry’s complete speech.center_img Bank Charter Banks Fintechs OCC 2016-11-03 Seth Welborn OCC Weighing Bank Charters for FinTechslast_img read more

Credit Applications Decrease Reflecting Consumers Credit Fears

first_img Share March 20, 2017 601 Views Increasing numbers of U.S. consumers are becoming discouraged concerning their access to credit as shown in a Survey released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Monday. Compared to a similar survey release in October, the proportion of “discouraged” consumers rose, resulting in a decrease in numbers in both credit applications and rejections. The SCE Credit Access Survey results are released every four months.The survey revealed that the amount of respondents likely to apply for at least one type of credit over the next 12 months decreased. Consumers were generally more pessimistic of future approval rates, while involuntary account closures rose to their highest level since the series’ start.  No clear patterns emerged in the changes noted in the likelihood of applying for specific kinds of credit over the next 12 months, with the average likelihood increasing for some credit types and decreasing for others. The most notable change was a drop in the average likelihood of applying for a mortgage refinance, which dropped from 12.2 percent in October to 8.4 percent. For those who did apply for a mortgage refinance loan, most were approved as rejection rates declined. On the other hand, rejection rates increased for new home loan applications.The expectations component of the survey presented a subdued picture of credit access and the need for credit.  It included two areas that measure the financial fragility of U.S. households: (1) the probability of needing $2,000 for an unexpected expense in the next month, and (2) the probability of being able to come up with $2,000 if an unexpected need arose within the next month. Answers to the above areas of concern revealed that there was little change in the financial fragility of U.S. households since the series began in October 2015. (1) The average probability of needing $2,000 for an unexpected expense in the next month was 32.5 percent, in the general range in which it has prevailed since the series began.  (2) The average probability of coming up with $2,000 if an unexpected need arose within the next month rose from 65.9 percent in October to 67.2 percent. Many consumers were too discouraged to even apply for credit. The survey revealed that the share of these respondents who were too discouraged to apply over the past 12 months, despite needing credit, rose to 7.1 percent from 5.7 percent in October 2016. This was the highest level since June 2014. Credit application rates declined from 42.3 percent in October to 39.9 percent, the lowest level since the series’ start in October 2013. The drop in application rates was broad-based across all credit scores and age groups.The proportion of respondents who applied and were granted credit over the last 12 months continued to decline, dropping to 31.5 percent, the lowest level since February 2015. The proportion of respondents who applied for credit and were rejected also dropped, from 9.9 percent in October to 8.5 percent.The survey showed that rejection rates declined. The per applicant rejection rate dropped from 23.3 percent in October to 21.2 percent. The drop was driven by younger (age 40 or less) respondents and those with higher credit scores (scores of 680 or more). The per application rejection rate also declined, from 39.3 percent in October to 35.1 percent. Other results revealed in the survey include:Application rates declined for all credit types except for auto loans. However, for those who did apply for auto loans, rejections rates increased. The decline was most notable for younger respondents. Rejection rates declined for applications for credit cards (and limit increases). approval Credit 2017-03-20 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Voluntary account closures declined slightly. On the other hand, involuntary (lender-initiated) account closures rose to 5.0 percent, their highest level since the series started in October 2013. The increase in involuntary closures was driven by respondents age 60 or less, and with credit scores of 760 or less. Credit Applications Decrease, Reflecting Consumers’ Credit Fearslast_img read more

Will Help Ensure a Stable US Housing Market

first_img Share Borrowers Ginnie Mae HOUSING HUD loans Senate Banking Committee U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission 2018-07-24 Radhika Ojha ‘Will Help Ensure a Stable U.S. Housing Market’ in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Newscenter_img Michael Bright, EVP, and COO at Ginnie Mae laid out his vision for the agency during his testimony at the Senate Banking Committee’s hearing to consider his nomination as the President of Ginnie.Bright, who was nominated for this position by the Trump administration in late May said that Ginnie Mae’s bond and its brand were globally recognized as the most pristine mortgage security in the world. “This is because of Ginnie Mae’s track record of success and our robustprocess for ensuring the timely payment of principal and interest to security holders,” he said. “Ginnie Mae has never missed a payment in its 50 years of existence, even during the financial crisis.”Bright’s nomination was being heard by the committee along with three others. Elad L. Roisman, to be a Member of the Securities and Exchange Commission; Rae Oliver Davis to be Inspector General, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); and Dr. Dino Falaschetti, to be Director, Office of Financial Research, U.S. Department of the Treasury.“Over the last decade, Mr. Bright has established himself as a leading voice on housing finance policy,” said Sen. Mike Crapo, Chairman of the Banking Committee. “Most recently, over the past year and a half, he has overseen all aspects of Ginnie Mae, including its nearly $2 trillion portfolios of mortgage-backed securities, and has already taken significant action to protect taxpayers and help consumers.If confirmed, Bright said that he intended to continue Ginnie Mae’s ongoing work to strengthen and modernize Ginnie Mae as well as ensuring that the security of the FHA, VA, and USDA loans it oversees to ensure better security price and lower rates for borrowers of these loans. “Between the work we have done administratively at Ginnie as well as the language recently passed into law, we have taken a major step towards rooting out behavior that was threatening the very viability of the Ginnie security, and thereby threatening the viability of the VA, USDA, and FHA programs we support,” Bright said. “We will not tolerate this behavior, and we now know that Congress stands with us. Collectively, our efforts are working. We can already see that in the form of a better security price, which directly translates into lower rates for FHA, VA, and USDA borrowers.”“If confirmed, I know Mr. Bright will continue this important work, and I look forward to working with him on opportunities to address the last piece of unfinished business from the Financial Crisis: comprehensive housing finance reform,” Crapo said.The committee also heard the testimony of Rae Oliver Davis, to consider her nomination for the post of Inspector General at HUD. Davis has worked for various Inspectors General with the US Postal Service, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and HUD.If confirmed, Davis said that she would ensure that HUD conducted comprehensive investigations and delivered thorough reporting. “I am aware that our work is also of significant interest to American taxpayers. Shedding light on government mismanagement and misconduct through our reports can be as effective as prosecutions and financial recoveries,” she told the committee.“If confirmed as HUD Inspector General, Ms. Davis will draw from this deep experience, working on behalf of taxpayers to eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse in our housing programs, and to make sure that those programs run as efficiently and effectively as possible,” Crapo said.Click here to watch the full hearing.Learn more about recent hearings by the Senate Banking Committee:Kraninger: ‘Will Make BCFP Fair and Transparent’ July 24, 2018 736 Views last_img read more

Why Arent Americans Tapping Into Home Equity

first_img September 19, 2018 689 Views in Daily Dose, News, Servicing Debt Equity HELOC loans 2018-09-19 Seth Welborn Why Aren’t Americans Tapping Into Home Equity?center_img Share Americans are sitting on over $6 trillion in home equity, according to Black Knight, and for those who do tap into their equity, they tend to put it right back into their homes. A survey from found that three-quarters of homeowners say that making home improvements or repairs is a good reason to withdraw cash from their home equity. Other uses of equity include consolidating debt (44 percent); paying for tuition or other educational expenses (31 percent); keeping up with regular household bills (15 percent); and making other investments (12 percent).Less homeowners are willing to use home equity loans or home equity lines of credit, however, Bankrate CFA Greg McBride states that increasing debt among homeowners may mean more Americans will tap into their home equity.“With the sorry state of emergency savings and increasing levels of consumer debt in a rising interest rate environment,” McBride says, “it’s a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ more homeowners turn to home equity to fund home improvements and repairs, or consolidate debt.”Bankrate found an income divide in home equity usage, as lower-income households — those earning less than $30,000 a year — were almost twice as likely to view home equity as a viable way to keep up with their household bills as those earning $50,000 to $74,999. Additionally, according to the Federal Reserve, 44 percent of Americans couldn’t cover a $400 emergency expense out of pocket.“That nearly 1 in 6 Americans view ‘keeping up with regular household bills’ as an appropriate reason to borrow from home equity speaks to how far some households are stretched on a monthly basis,” McBride says.McBride notes that in order for these homeowners to tap into their equity, they need to be smart.“For a disciplined homeowner, using home equity to consolidate debt at a lower interest rate can be a savvy way to cut interest costs and accelerate debt repayment,” McBride says. “But for undisciplined homeowners, it ties up an asset that is put at further risk of foreclosure while the temptation to run up high-cost debt all over again proves difficult to resist.”last_img read more

Blend Launches Deposit Account FinTech

first_img April 4, 2019 724 Views in News, Technology Blend recently announced the launch of its deposit account offering. The new product enables Blend customers to offer a digital account opening experience to consumers across desktop and mobile.“By making deposit account opening easier, Blend is enabling banks and credit unions, no matter their size, to deepen consumer relationships and stay competitive in a crowded market,” said Blend Head of Product Olivia Teich. “This is an important step in our journey to build a single platform for lenders to provide exceptional customer experiences across their products.” Blend states that Mountain America Credit Union was able to fully roll out Blend’s deposit account product in one month, with all online account opening traffic now flowing through Blend’s platform. Already, the company has seen 53 percent of applications come through mobile, a channel not previously offered for deposits. Additionally, Blend notes that the time it takes to apply for and open an account has decreased by 46 percent.“From the beginning, we knew Blend shared our vision for a simpler, more transparent consumer lending ecosystem,” said Kelly Albiston, Mountain America’s SVP of Digital Banking, Deposits and Card Services. “By partnering with them on multiple products, including deposit account opening, we are providing a consistent and streamlined experience for our members across the board and taking friction out of the process.” Sharecenter_img blend FinTech 2019-04-04 Seth Welborn Blend Launches Deposit Account FinTechlast_img read more

Be quick – less than 50 tickets remain for Tourism

first_imgBe quick – less than 50 tickets remain for Tourism Australia’s Destination Australia Conference on Thursday 16 March 2017 in Sydney. The conference includes top speakers from leading organisations including Skift, Facebook, Google, Mastercard and more.Hundreds of tourism professionals attended the second annual Destination Australia Conference in 2016. The conference focused on how to attract more high-yielding international visitors to Australia to grow the tourism industry and boost business.This year’s conference will include discussion on Tourism Australia’s strategic and creative direction.Click to download the agenda and registerlast_img read more


first_img 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke “He’s improving. We’ll see how it progresses later in the week” is all head coach Ken Whisenhunt offered up on his starting inside linebacker.Washington got off to a strong start Sunday against Carolina, posting six tackles, a sack, a tackle for a loss, a quarterback hit plus an interception, the second of his career. He would’ve had two INTs if it weren’t for a roughing the passer penalty on Richard Marshall.“I was looking forward to having a big game,” explained Washington, who started 11 of 16 games as a rookie last season. “Obviously, us winning and playing at home you’ve got to be happy about that. The first game I wanted to make a statement.“For the most part I feel good,” he added. “With my injury right now I have to just continue to keep rehabbing and making sure I’m doing the necessary things so that hopefully I can get back as soon as possible.”As soon as Sunday? “That’s the plan.” D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’center_img Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Daryl Washington was a spectator at Cardinals practice Wednesday, certainly not a surprise after he suffered a strained calf in the season opener.“It felt pretty good today,” he said as he came off the field. “I tried a little jogging on it today but it’s a little sore, still going to be a little sore so give it a couple more days.”So while his teammates worked on correcting mistakes from the week one victory and prepared for week two, Washington got in his work on the side: riding the stationary bike and exercising with trainers. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

Nevada officials reach out to Dbacks on potential

first_img Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Kolb made it through training camp that year still slatedas the starter and promptly went out and suffered aconcussion in Week 1 against Green Bay. That injury gaveVick the gig that turned his career around and eventuallysent Kolb on his way to Arizona.Now after signing a big contract with the Cards and thensuffering through an injury-plagued 2011 campaign, KevinKolb’s future is once again up in the air. I can’t help but think that no matter what happens withManning, Kolb’s psyche could be seriously damaged.Regardless of how talented he is, Kolb may never get achance to reach his potential due to the physical andemotional roller coaster ride he’s been on over the last 5years. Comments   Share   D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinkecenter_img Top Stories While Cardinals fans all over the Valley are bubbling overwith excitement at the possibility of the franchise luringone of the best quarterbacks of all time to play here,there is one guy who likely does not share that feelingand instead is probably thinking “here we go again.”After a stellar collegiate career at Houston, the sky wasthe limit for Kevin Kolb. When the Eagles took him in the2nd round of the 2007 draft, most experts believed itwouldn’t take long and he would eventually be DonovanMcNabb’s replacement in Philadelphia. When he got hisshot in 2009 filling in for an injured McNabb, he drummedup his own controversy with a great performance in Week 3against the Chiefs which earned him NFC Player of the Weekhonors. Kolb’s two game stint came at the same time hisnew teammate Michael Vick was reinstated by the NFL. Buteven with Vick on the roster, the job was Kolb’s to loseafter McNabb was traded to Washington prior to the 2010season. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

Hes got a ton of athletic ability He knows how

first_img“He’s got a ton of athletic ability. He knows how to get in and out of his breaks really well,” safety Tony Jefferson said. “I like him.”Added safety Tyrann Mathieu about Christian, “He’s versatile. He’s promising; got a lot of potential so I’m looking forward to seeing him in training camp.”And that will be the big test, not only for Christian but the other rookies as well as they get their first true taste of life in the NFL, in training camp, when the pads come on.Christian, though, has made the early transition from college almost seamless.“It’s been real great,” he said. “Starting off it was a whole lot at one time. During rookie mini-camp, they threw everything, all the plays at us at one time so there was a lot of information at first. But as time went by and the reps– with rookie mini-camp we got plenty of reps — and just weeks and weeks studying the playbook and having the coaches meetings. The rookie meetings really helped us adjust to the speed and the playbook.”Diving into the playbook was a new experience for Christian, taken in the fifth round with the 167th overall pick.School study has been replaced by football study, and a lot of it. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Christian was not invited to the combine, however.The Cardinals see the 5-foot-11, 196-pound Christian as someone who can come in right away and contribute, and not just on special teams.How much Christian plays defensively will depend greatly on how much more he develops, both in the classroom and on the field.“I always feel like I’m 100-percent ready. I came here ready. This is what I came to do,” he said.With Rashad Johnson gone — he signed a free-agent contract with Tennessee — and Mathieu questionable at best to being ready for training camp on time, Christian will be given his opportunities.The safety room is deep but between Mathieu, Jefferson, Chris Clemons, D.J. Swearinger and newcomer Tyvon Branch, as they made 23 combined starts last season, 14 of which belonged to Mathieu.Christian wants to be part of the Cardinals’ plans in 2016, and he knows there’s only one way for that to happen: continue to put in the work, even when he returns home to Houston, where he’ll allow himself a short summer break.“Just a week off when I get there, just to relax because it’s been a tumultuous few weeks with all the running and things,” Christian said, “so when I get home just take a week off to enjoy the family and everything, studying the playbook at the same time and then after that, really, really start training hard and get ready for camp.” Cardinals rookie Marqui Christian watches during mini-camp. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Top Stories Comments   Share   “The biggest adjustment to me was just the mental aspect,” he said. “I mean the physical aspect — all the guys are making plays, flat out. That wasn’t a problem getting out there and moving or nothing like that, the speed, but the mental aspect. Since we’re up here from 5 to 5, practice is only an hour-and-a-half so the rest of the time is all mental. Can you stay focused? It’s weight (work). It’s a plethora of meetings.“I feel like the mental aspect is the most challenging part when transitioning from college to the NFL.”The good news is Christian isn’t doing this alone.Defensive backs coach Nick Rapone is quick with an answer for every question, and the other safeties have been excellent mentors.“I’m just taking everything I can from the vets, guys like Ty,” Christian said.Over four seasons at Midwestern State, Christian appeared in 41 games and left as the school’s all-time leading tackler.As a senior, he totaled 95 tackles, three passes defensed, two tackles for loss, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles, numbers that earned him conference defensive player of the year and the Cliff Harris Award as the nation’s top small college defensive player. TEMPE, Ariz. — Summer vacation is on hold for safety Marqui Christian.He and the other Arizona Cardinals rookies — the roster lists 23 — remain in town this week and next for further study and work with strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris.“Getting stronger, getting faster, working out; going balls to the wall,” Christian said.Drafted out of Division II Midwestern State University, a small liberal arts college in Wichita Falls, TX, Christian made an immediate impression with the Cardinals in rookie mini-camp. He continued to catch the eyes of coaches and teammates during organized team activities plus the mandatory two-day mini-camp. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more