Money Talk: Arkansas better than average in money management ranking

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 109 views 

Editor’s note: Each Monday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Money Talk,” a wrap-up of banking and financial news.

ARKANSAS BETTER THAN AVERAGE IN MONEY MANAGEMENT RANKING: Arkansas is ranked 16th best at money management even though the state’s median income and credit scores were well behind most of the other states, according to a new ranking by CreditCards.com. To measure money management ability, CreditCards.com compared consumers’ average credit scores, from the credit bureau Experian, to their median household income, per the U.S. Census. Arkansas residents had the 46th lowest credit score at 652 with average balances on their credit cards of $4,040, which was well below most states even though median income for Arkansans ranked 49th.

The top states, which included Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota, had credit scores much higher than their income. In the middle, credit scores about match income rank. The worst performers in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Alaska had high income, but relatively low credit scores.

BEIGE BOOK: EIGHTH DISTRICT ECONOMIC ACTIVITY SEES MODEST IMPROVEMENT – Economic activity in the St. Louis Federal Reserve’s Eighth District that encompasses Arkansas has increased at a modest in the past month as business contacts reported that ample job opportunities continued to be available in most areas across the region, according to the Fed’s Beige Book report.

General retailers continued to report 2015 sales were at or above 2014 levels, while auto dealers continued to report mixed results. Real estate conditions also continued to improve, while a survey of district banks suggested banking conditions are stable or generally better. Crop conditions continued to be troubled by late-December rain and subsequent flooding that has damaged crops in some parts of the district. Still, wheat plantings were on schedule and in good condition, the report said.

FEDERAL BANKING AGENCIES TO HOLD NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON COMMUNITY BANKS: The federal bank regulatory agencies, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund will host the 2016 National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference Feb. 8-10 in Los Angeles. The biennial conference offers participants from around the country the opportunity to learn about the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and to discuss best practices and emerging challenges in community development. The conference agenda includes keynote presentations by Thomas Curry, Comptroller of the Currency; FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg; John Williams, president Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; and other top federal banking officials.

PITTMAN JOINS SIMMONS WEALTH DEPARTMENT

Christi McGeorge Pittman of Little Rock has joined Simmons First National Bank as vice president of wealth management/employee benefits. Pittman had worked since October 2006 as the sales director for Delta Dental of Arkansas. The wealth management group at Simmons offers insurance, trust, investment and private banking services.

Pittman, a certified public accountant, entered the insurance business in 2001 with Transamerica Worksite Marketing, where she was a member of the senior management team. Prior to that, she was the president of McGeorge Consulting Inc., the chief financial officer for Technetics Corp. and a senior auditor for Baird Kurtz & Dobson CPAs.