What Stands Behind Capital One Credit Cards and Savings Products?

In the times since the global financial crisis, it has increasingly become a concern as to what the backing of the financial institution that issues your credit card or holds your saving account is. There are a number of laws which regulate the financial system and try to ensure that customers can rely on banks to honour their obligations which can be a particular concern in relation to savings products. Title 12 of the United States Code in part 325 specifies a number of ‘capital adequacy requirements’ in relation to all banks. The aim of these requirements is to force banks to adequately provision of a crisis and ensure that they will remain solvent even if there is a large crisis. Banks must report periodically on their arrangements to show regulators that they are meeting the capital adequacy requirements.

Capital One at the moment is, when measured by asset pool, the 8th largest bank in the United States with balance sheet assets of approximately USD$286bn in 2012. Amongst other distinctions, the company is also one of the largest customers of the United States postal service. Its head office is in Fairfax County Virginia and the current chairman, CEO and President of the company is Richard Fairbank. It is one of the fastest growing banks in American history having been founded in 1988 by the current CEO. Like many banks in the American financial system, Capital One was the recipient of a bail out during the sub prime mortgage crisis of 2007 when it received $3.56bn from the United States Government in exchange for 3,555,199 shares in the company. By the end of 2009, the company had managed to buy the government out of the business.

As well as being involved in credit cards, Capital One has an Auto Finance Division which is a substantial part of the company. An entity known as Capital One 360 is also now in existence having formerly been known as ING Direct on the idea that a bank could perform retail services entirely on the basis of an online model. This division of the company has no branches and only maintains a physical presence in the form of call centres and online processing maintenance facilities. The online bank model seems to achieved some success given that the lower overheads from rent and staff result in lower costs to consumers and therefore a better outcome.

One of the notable characteristic of Capital One is that it appears to have retained an ability to ride out the periodic financial storms which emerge in the world of consumer credit. It has grown consistently throughout good and bad times in consumer finance and continues to grow based on the analysis of its most recent financial data. This history of growth and the ability to ride out financial storms appears to bode well for the credit and savings products of Capital One.

Where to Find Car Loan Low Interest Finance

You may be surprised to learn how much you will be able to save when you take out car loan low interest finance. If you have been working hard to negotiate the best sale price on your new car, you certainly won’t want to negate the savings you make by paying dearly for finance. There are many companies around who can offer you a good deal on an auto loan and, when looking for car finance, you should aim to pay the lowest rate you can.

When looking for car loan low interest finance you should ensure that you consider all options available to you. A lot of people feel more comfortable sticking with their own financial institutions or the larger bank lenders as they seem to think they will be able to provide the best loans at the best rates. This is not always the case. These days there are a large number of non-bank lenders who provide car loan low interest finance.

Probably the best place to start looking for car loan low interest finance is on the internet. The majority of non-bank loan providers operate solely online as it is an easy way to set up their business without having to outlay a lot of capital. These companies also have minimal running costs, so they can afford to offer car loan low interest finance and still make a reasonable profit.

It is important, when searching for car loan low interest finance, that you realize that interest rates can vary considerably between lenders these days. Ensure that you take the time to shop around and get as many quotes as possible, as you may never know when you will come across the perfect auto loan at the lowest price around. It is only by approaching as many lenders as you can that you will have any success in finding car loan low interest finance.

Looking for car loan low interest rate financing is quick and easy when you do it online. Not only can you compare lenders at a time that is convenient for you, but you will only need to enter your details once in order to receive multiple quotes. The other great thing about getting car loan low interest finance online is that the application process is incredibly straight forward. Once you have found a great rate from a reliable lender, you will be able to apply for your loan online by completing a standard application form. Your application will be submitted to your lender immediately and so the processing of your application is a lot faster.

One thing that you will need to be cautious about when getting car loan low interest finance online is that you will need to ensure that the lender you go with is legitimate and reputable. Sometimes a company that offers ridiculously low rates may not be the most trustworthy, so always take the time to find out more about a lender before signing on the dotted line. You can check out the business ratings of various lenders online through the Better Business Bureau or through auto finance review sites.

Be Prepared for the Problems in Used Car Financing With Solutions Before You Start

Financing properly is more important in financing a used car than when buying a new car. Most problems that occur in buying a used car are due to there being a problem connected with the financing. Getting the used car financing worked out properly is the key to a successful used car purchase.

Most buyers aren’t aware of how important the paper work is to making the deal a successful one or a failure. They view it as paperwork that should be completed as quickly as possible so they can drive away in their new car.

To start with, it’s very important to get the deal agreed upon by the salesman to be put in writing in the contract. This often involves determining monthly auto loan payments based on an interest rate. Sometimes, the interest rate a customer qualifies for is inflated so the dealership can make extra profit.

This headache can easily be avoided by obtaining independent vehicle financing before going to the dealership. This means the consumer can proceed as a “cash buyer” and negotiate only the price of the car. Car salesmen prefer customers to be “monthly payment” buyers because, in this way, it is easier to obscure the total cost of the vehicle.

Independent car financing can be obtained from a bank, credit union or on-line lender. With the popularity of the internet, applying for used car refinance is proving to be simple and very easy to do. Many on line lenders respond very quickly – sometimes as short as 15 minutes by email or telephone. If the application is approved, the borrower is given a credit limit at an established interest rate. Sometimes a blank bank check is issued with no obligation to use it.

“For the majority of consumers, even if you know you have good credit, there is a little apprehension and tension around applying,” one lender said. “So instead of going into a dealership and giving them your information and being sent to the coffee machine to wait for an answer, you can apply on-line, 24/7.”

Most people familiar with how used car dealerships operate confirm that obtaining independent car financing is beneficial to most consumers. .

The most common problems that have a negative impact on a person trying to finance a used car –and their solutions – to ensure that things go smoothly are the following:

Problem #1: Many consumers don’t know what their credit rating is when they apply for an auto loan. The strength of their credit score largely determines what kind of interest rate they will receive. Therefore, it’s critical to make sure your credit report is in the best shape possible before shopping for a car.

SOLUTION: Order a copy of your credit report and look for items that may stand in the way of you getting a good rate. Correct any issues or errors promptly. Are all of your lines of credit in good standing? Are there any signs of identity theft? The credit bureaus will tell you how to correct errors when they send you the report. The following numbers and Web site addresses will assist you in checking your credit.

Providing Quality, Productivity and Efficiency

When I came back from the U.S., I went onto one of the international teams, primarily working in IT, so I was responsible for working throughout Europe and India rolling out IT developments. Left there after 12 years when I got the choice of spending 18 months on the road going around the world, off spending some time with my family, the family came first. Left GE, went to work for a company called Abbey, anybody heard of Abbey National? Yeah, a few people. I signed on the dotted line for Abbey on a Friday. I found out in the media on Monday that Abbey had been just been bought by Banco Santander.

So my career at Abbey was very short-lived-I think I had about five months there. Three of which was on Garden (ph) leave and redundancy. I then went on to join a company called Cattles that had an effect and a loan shark. Now in loan shark they basically lend money to people who cannot afford to pay it back and then go and get the money off of them by taking the property away, breaking their legs, whatever it needs to get the money back. Did not like that very much. So I joined Norwich Union, where I have been for three-and-a-half years working in the top industry, which is Norwich Union Life.

Now this brings us on to the earlier point, which is about Aviva. Aviva is the parent company of all of the Norwich Union businesses, and it is the international arm. So those of you who are not from the UK, anybody seen Aviva advertise? Now you have seen it on the ING presentation earlier because they are one of our competitors. Has anybody else come across Aviva? Shows hands. No! Absolutely nobody. Interesting!

I believe that Aviva is a company that was developed by Norwich Union purely for the purpose of giving us a global brand. Within the U.K., Norwich Union is split down into many businesses, it is a complex animal. Norwich Union Life sells life insurance, deals with investments and with bonds. So in the current climate, we are getting absolutely screwed. A colleague of mine bought 3,000 pounds worth of Aviva shares when they were 4 pounds per share because he figured they could not go any lower. About 12 hours later, they were worth 2.50 pounds. Well, I cannot do the thing-the sums are in euros, but basically he lost half of his money, and he has been on the cascade ever since.

Now what this means for the business is pretty severe, because in this kind of climate anybody who has investments very rapidly tries to take them out. So we have got a massive increase in work load and it is uncovering a lot of processes that are not perhaps quite as Lean as they should be. So there is a fantastic amount of work to be done in the Lean Sigma area that has been highlighted by the current crises.

Norwich Union Insurance is a more traditional insurance company. They sell car insurance, they sell motorcycle insurance, house insurance, often direct to customers.

Norwich Union Healthcare, which we are going to come back on to in a while, is primarily around selling health insurance, little bit like BUPA for those who know the U.K. companies. And there are many other Aviva companies around the world. One of which is Aviva Canada. Aviva Canada has a Lean Sigma team of about three people. There is also a Lean Sigma team in the U.S., so the whole of the United States, fantastically big business, big area has one Lean Sigma person based in Iowa, I believe. So that is another area for expansion for us.

Because Norwich Union is such a convoluted business and because Aviva is even more convoluted, it is very difficult to get a good view as to how many Lean Sigma type resources we have. But I can certainly talk to the bottom end of this stuff, which is over the past 18 months, me and my team have trained 52 Green Belts who come primarily from the business areas. We have trained another 10 Black Belts who were primarily internal, but we have also started training people from other Norwich Union businesses, from insurance, from healthcare, etc. And since 2004, I joined Norwich Union in 2005, and I managed to get back to a few of the old records, the total strengths that we have within Norwich Union Life is somewhere in the region of about 30 Black Belts and about 300 Lean Green Belts.

Now the Black Belts, some of them are in the central team-there are about seven or eight Black Belts in the central team. The rest are scattered throughout the various business areas, because not only do I have Norwich Union Life, Norwich Union Insurance and Norwich Union Healthcare, within Norwich Union Life we have multiple businesses as well in multiple business areas. So those 30 are scattered about as well.

As of about two weeks ago, we have stopped doing any further training of Black Belts or Green Belts, primarily because we have got enough, and it is really now up to the business to start delivering the benefits. However, we are continuing to provide coaching and mentoring to enable the people that are actually out there in the field doing process improvement projects to get the projects delivered in a proper and timely manner. That is really the main focus of what my team is doing now.

OK, the structure of the rest of this rather short presentation is based around the four questions that IQPC asked me to answer. So I put them in there as challenges. The first challenge was around getting buying from senior management and the rest of the business, providing Return On Investment in business and transactional environments. Quite a convoluted question. So I could easily avoid it, very easily as it turns out, because I think-what I have seen over the last couple of days is everybody that seems to be doing presentations, they say more or less the same thing. Yes, it is important and there are lots and lots ways of doing it, but one of the things that hit me quite a long time ago is this question of transactional versus manufacturing, and it does not really seem to make a lot of difference.

Manufacturing businesses have to have transactional processes in that they have to have HR, they have to have finance, they have to talk to customers, they have to deal with ordering, they have to deal with invoicing. So there are still transactional and service based functions within a manufacturing industry.

And so-called transactional businesses like mine, like insurance, we do produce things, despite popular belief. We produce policies, we produce reports, we produce letters, we produce credit cards. So in the end, the requirement to improve processes is the same. It does not matter, it does not matter whether they are manufacturing or transactional, the same things apply.

So as I start looking answering the question, maintaining senior management buying, and to be perfectly honest, has been an absolute nightmare. It has worked and it has not worked, and if I can purposefully click back, we had, when I first joined the company in Norwich Union Life, a very senior, very, very supportive, he was a “Head of” then, he is now a Director. And we were doing really well, we were fantastic team, very well-supported, we were getting the correct buying that we needed and things were going brilliantly. Unfortunately, because he was so good, he got promoted. So he went off to work for a different area. He was looking after us and that was a team called Process Excellence. Simon got promoted and went to look after one of the investment arms.

Well, guess what happened? We started taking a bit of a nosedive, but the investment arm went ballistic, very fantastic stuff. He rolled out process improvement within the investment area that he was in, and they were doing really well. They became one of the best teams that were actually operating within Norwich Union Life, and because he did so well there he got promoted again. And he went on to healthcare, and I would say that currently within the U.K. and within Norwich Union, the most successful process improvement Lean Sigma team is very definitely in healthcare 100 percent because they have got that buy-in. Well, no, not 100 percent because they got that buy-in, but probably 80 percent because they have got that buy-in.

The other advantage that healthcare has is that they are a single silo. So whereas my area of Norwich Union Life has about five different businesses within it, that means five different directors to handle, it means probably 15 or 20 different “Head of-s” to handle; within healthcare there is only one.

The other thing that would come out of all of this that we will be doing is that we have trained the best part of 300 people over in the past four or five years, and it is very, very clear that one of the ways to get buying is to actually let the people who do the work handle process improvements. So something that I will have back on a little bit later on is that we have become catalysts for a change, we do not actually do change, we help people change themselves, that is absolutely vital. The gains you buy in and it also solves one of the problems that I think someone have mentioned earlier around making sure that the control phase actually sticks. If people want to do the change and if the change is their idea, it will stick. So what we need to do is enable them to go about it; it makes our job easier.

It also gives this a bottom of deployment so the people at Ground Zero on the shop floor are making these improvements in doing these projects. So it leaves us to try and get the top-down support, and again that is the problem that we have in the top-down support.

What they have managed to do in healthcare is they have actually managed to get KPIs on change into the Directors and the “Head of-s” bonusable objectives. So the objectives that senior people have in healthcare, one of them is actually around process improvement, and their bonus and their success and their salary for next year actually depends on that. That gets you a fantastic amount of buying.

So much so that the plan for healthcare for next year leading into 2010 is that the process improvement team will be self-funding. So the benefits that they are going to achieve will be feeding directly into that cost, and they will basically be a self-funding entity, they are not going to be a cost on the business at all, which is brilliant.

Final thing on that slide I think is the last one, but do not get hung up on a name-Six Sigma Stigma. You mention Six Sigma and people just dive under a desk somewhere. They do not want to know, it is all about statistics, it is all about tool heads, it would not work here, it does not work in transactional environments; it is complete rubbish is a polite way of putting it. It works fine, but you cannot use the name half of the time. The same with Lean, people do not want to do Lean.

My team has been a Lean Sigma team, it has been a Lean team, it has been a Process Excellence team, it has been a Process Improvement team. Currently we are a Service Transformation team. We are doing the same things, we are using the same tools, but we are using different names. It is important that you do not get hung up on the name, it does not matter what you call it as long as you are using the tools and you are using them in the right way. So I guess basically it is a case of being pragmatic…on that one.

The second challenge that IQPC asked me to look at was embedding process improvement principles that suit the culture. A bit more challenging, but I will go through a few good things that happened to us and some of the things that have not gone quite so well.

It all started before I joined Norwich Union. So it started sometime back in about 2003, and it has been very progressive. In the early days we were looking at Lean and Six Sigma as two completely separate entities. The training was provided by two of three different external consultancies. They were training up Lean specialists, they were training up Lean Green Belts and they were training up Black Belts. The problem that they gave us was if ever we had a project we had to get rather a lot of peopling or people were deciding is it a Lean project or is it a Six Sigma project.

When I came on board, we started looking at slightly different things, and we thought that maybe we could actually combine the two together. Now the idea was, a Black Belt would be full-time employed on process improvement type projects, but the Green Belt would dedicate about 25 percent of their time to the process improvement projects within their business area, but rest of the time they will be doing their day job. Now to a large degree that has actually worked.

What Norwich Insurance also did was to recruit people like myself externally to support the central team. So now we are in a situation where we have central team with external recruited, accredited, certified and certifiable in many cases Master Black Belts and Black Belts. There are some internally-trained Black Belts but not necessarily accredited working within the business areas, and quite a lot of Green Belts are very definitely business area based. So any of the improvement work is mostly carried out by the people who work in the business, which comes back to the point I made earlier about, if the people in the business do it the people in the business own it and it will continue successfully.

How to Successfully Capitalize on Special Finance Leads?

In a highly competitive market, it is very difficult to generate quality special finance lead by the dealers. The process results in unnecessary wastage of time, energy, and money. In spite of spending a lump sum amount on advertisement and on running PPC campaigns in Google, still a dealer fails to produce the desired number of leads to meet the monthly target. Dealers who cannot generate their own leads depend on the professional lead providers to supplement the flow of new sale opportunities.

All providers produce new sale opportunities through their own marketing efforts. They usually have a couple of websites for an effective auto lead generation. Through advanced adverts offline and online and use of social media, the highest quality of leads are generated in real time. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns are used extensively to generate as many leads as possible.

When sending the leads to the dealer client, the professional lead generators ensure they are sending only the best quality leads. A team of efficient professionals works to separate the good quality leads from the bad ones. Usually a provider uses a lead tracking software to track the number of leads coming from different sources from websites, landing pages, blogs, advertisements, etc.

Bad quality leads are generated when so-called potential car buyers don’t respond to calls being made from the lead generating company’s office or for that matter don’t reply to the emails sent at least 48 hours ago. Such sets of people are termed as ineffective leads and the list containing the personal details of such individuals are not sent to the dealer. Effective leads are those that respond instantly to a call or an email and show a genuine interest to buy a car.

There is a misconception amongst many dealers that the providers send a lead’s personal details to multiple dealers. The lead generating companies have teams that check whether the same leads are being sent to more than one dealership or not. Cross checking of leads received should also be done on the dealer’s part to reject duplicate leads.

The reason for the huge popularity of the external lead generators lie in the fact that they guarantee the generation of maximum high quality leads. Once people fill up an online inquiry form to learn more about a dealer and the auto loan application and approval procedure, the generator instantly starts following up with those people. Through regular communication and responding to the queries of potential car buyers, special finance lead can be generated successfully.

Experienced service providers spend all their time in doing quality research on the type of target audience a dealer wants to have. The providers will use the latest, innovative marketing strategies to create a long lasting impression in the minds of the people. One of the best chances to increase visibility is to have a strong presence in various social media web platforms for maximum auto lead generation. Through maintenance of social media accounts and regular posting of interesting articles, relevant news, photos, and videos on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and so on grabbing the attention of potential car buyers can be increased to a large extent.

Matthew S Barredo is an expert researcher of special finance lead. He has over 7 years of experience in the genre of finance auto lead and the same. In this article, he has tried to educate the readers about choosing an ideal car lead generating company and auto lead generation for steady sales and profit.