News Release: Auriemma Consulting Group (ACG) has launched a Collections Certification Program that validates Collections center policies, practices, and results against thresholds set by the firm.

ACG created this barometer of industry excellence using its experience and market expertise, incorporating information from its proprietary data sources to develop an assessment model.

ACG's Collections Certification Program is a direct result of lenders indicating the need for a standardized, multi-faceted evaluation of their Collections functions. Although the current economic recovery and post-recession credit constriction has caused record low loan losses, today's regulatory environment has put pressure on banks and lenders to refine collection activities - with compliance being a priority.

Therefore, as delinquencies grow through the normal credit cycle, Collections is likely to need incremental resources to impact results while still maintaining compliance. The program provides certified firms with the assurance that their collections functions are operating at optimal levels.

In response to increasing regulatory oversight, the competitive environment and changes in consumer behavior, financial institutions have found themselves continually developing new strategies and business practices to operate more efficiently and effectively. A favorable Collections Certification outcome attests that a bank's internal controls and performance results exceed thresholds based on ACG's experience, perspective, and acceptable industry norms.

In late 2013, ACG certified its first top 20 bank. This program reviewed and evaluated four categories of a multi-product Collections organization -- Policies & Procedures, Effectiveness & Efficiency, Staff Management, and Technology. Consultants analyzed Collections data and conducted an extensive onsite review to determine whether operational execution was consistent with organizational policy.

ACG delivered an executive summary of findings, as well as a 'Collections Profile,' which plots the organization's performance within each category relative to a certification threshold and documents the final decision. ACG describes its new product as an "affirmation that your organization's delivery model, practices, and results meet a performance threshold of excellence as established by ACG." This newly developed Collections Certification review not only offers a comparative analysis but takes it a step further, by extending ACG's seal of approval to organizations performing at an industry-leading level."

An integral part of the Collections Certification process is the use of VIZOR, an analytics platform that houses over a decade of performance metrics from a full spectrum of Collections centers throughout the industry. The ability to identify trends and correlations in data offers direct insight into how organizations are responding operationally to industry issues and help drive best practice recommendations.

The findings and recommendations of ACG's Collections Certification program will serve as a useful assessment of the overall effectiveness of Collections operations, including their ability to balance performance goals and regulatory compliance concerns.

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