Feb. 07--Experian, an information services company based in Costa Mesa, found a 29 percent year-over-year increase in credit card origination volumes (or limits) in a recent report analyzing data from the third quarter of 2013.
A survey of financial institutions, conducted with consulting firm Oliver Wyman, found that bank card origination volumes totaled $73 billion in the third quarter, the highest since the third quarter of 2008.
"The positive growth trend signals a return to more normalized borrowing behaviors on the part of consumers," said Linda Haran, senior director of product management and strategy for Experian Decision Analytics.
Senior Product Manger Alan Ikemura attributed the growth both to lenders' increased willingness to lend and an increased consumer demand for credit for potential spending. "I think these are outcomes of the improvement in the economy, unemployment improving and therefore consumer confidence improving."
Even though overall consumer debt levels increased 2.5 percent year over year to $10.8 trillion, Haran noted, they're still below 2008 levels, when consumer debt was nearly $12 trillion. "In addition, delinquency rates for most lending products are at or near record lows, indicating that consumers are borrowing more responsibly," Haran said.
The report also included figures about automotive loan and mortgage originations. Auto loan origination volumes increased year over year by 30 percent to $151 billion in the third quarter of 2013. Mortgage volumes grew 22 percent to $570 billion in the same period.
-- Marni Usheroff
Laguna Culinary Arts in Laguna Beach is splitting its operations -- relocating the culinary school and wine shop to separate locations in Costa Mesa. Chef Laurent Brazier, who runs the cooking education arm of the operation, is moving that business to space previously occupied by Signature Kitchen at South Coast Plaza. He's calling the new venture La Cuisine Culinary Arts. Laguna Culinary's wine shop, owned by Nancy Milby, is moving to Costa Mesa's South Coast Collection center. The shop will be called LCA Wines. Like the Laguna location, LCA will continue to offer wine tastings and wine certification classes. Roughly 500 wine selections will be available. Milby has tapped Peter Neptune, a much sought after sommelier and wine educator, to teach his popular classes at LCA. The shop is taking over 2,000 square feet of space inside the old Rolling Greens shop, which closed in December. The rest of the space will be dedicated to UNI Home Store. Laguna Culinary is closing Feb. 28. LCA and La Cuisine are slated to open in mid-March.
The Macy's Home Store cafe experiment closed Jan. 31, according to Rosemarie Robles, a local Macy's spokeswoman. When the cafe opened five years ago, it was touted as a one-of-kind fast-casual operation featuring food by celebrity chefs Cat Cora, Nancy Silverton and Marcus Samuelsson.
-- Nancy Luna
Nvision Laser Eye Centers, a Newport Beach-based chain of eye-surgery facilities, acquired two Nevada Eye Care ophthalmology offices in Las Vegas. The purchase, first of multiple acquisitions planned for the year, brings Nvision's number of centers to 17. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
On the move
Ryan Schertzer was named vice president of sales at Netwrix Corp., an Irvine developer of computer-auditing software. Scherzer previously worked as a senior sales manager for the North American group of Dell's SharePoint solutions.
(c)2014 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Visit The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) at www.ocregister.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services