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Oklahoma bankers

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As this year’s Oklahoma Home Educators’ Capitol Day approaches, a new SoonerPoll finds that a majority of Oklahomans, 55.7 percent, know someone who currently home schools their children.  The poll found that only 42.5 percent of respondents do not know anyone who prefers to educate their children at home while 1.8 percent of respondents are unsure.

Respondents were asked: ’Many parents prefer to educate their children at home instead of sending them to school. Do you know of anyone that currently home-schools their child?’

An Education Next-Harvard PEPG survey conducted last year asked a similarly worded question in 2010 and found that only 36 percent of respondents nationwide knew a family that home-schools, while 64 percent did not.

“This is an indicator that home schooling has become more mainstream in Oklahoma than in many of other states,” Brandon Dutcher, Vice President for Policy at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, said.

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, was commissioned for this poll by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.  SoonerPoll.com conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 508 likely voters from Jan. 24 – Feb. 3. The study has a margin of error of ± 4.35 percent.

The Oklahoma Home Educators’ Capitol Day is an event held every year to encourage home schooling families and students to build relationships with lawmakers.  Protecting the right parents have to home educate their children from future regulation is one stated goal of the event, which will be held February 17.

The event also gives families the opportunity to demonstrate that home education is a viable option for providing an education.

“Home schooling is an educational option that more and more parents are embracing, and I expect that trend to continue,” Dutcher said.

Dutcher went on to mention that many home school graduates have recently made headlines in Oklahoma, including two 21-year-olds who were elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in November.

“People are getting accustomed to seeing home-schoolers win things like spelling bees and robotics competitions,” Dutcher said. “And then last month a 17-year-old home-schooler is crowned Miss America, while Miss Oklahoma, another home-schooler, finishes in the top five. Then last week Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals honored the top six youth volunteers in Oklahoma—and three of them are home-schoolers.”

When the results are broken down by party, it is revealed that 60.3 percent of Republicans know a family that home-schools compared to just 52.9 percent of Democrats.

Similarly, the likeliness that a respondent will know a home schooling family corresponds directly to his or her political ideology.  Only 44.8 percent of those who consider themselves very liberal know a home schooling family, compared to 53.6 percent of moderates and 62.9 percent of those who are very conservative.

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Oklahomans rate the State’s economy better than the national economy and Oklahoma banks better than national banks according to a recent poll

OKLAHOMA CITY – A new survey released today finds that an astounding 83% of likely voting Oklahomans feel the Oklahoma economy is better than the national economy with 29% rating it as much better and 54% rating it as slightly better.

More than 80% of Oklahomans also believe that, given the current financial conditions of national banks, Oklahoma banks are in better financial condition with a little more than one in three respondents rating Oklahoma banks as much better than national banks.

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SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, conducted the telephone poll of 339 statewide likely voters February 27 – March 4, and was commissioned by the Oklahoma Bankers Association. The margin of error for the survey was 5.3%.
When asked about how safe they believe their money is in Oklahoma financial institutions, 49% of respondents believe that their money is very safe with another 47% saying somewhat safe, and less than 2% feel their money is not safe.

The number of respondents in the state applying for credit with an Oklahoma financial institution to purchase a car or truck in the last 90 days was 4.1% and created a relatively small sample size for determining the level of difficulty in getting the loan. However, 79% of respondents reported no difficulty in getting the loan (compared to 14.3% reporting difficulty) and, with a larger margin of error of 26%, the scientific results indicate that the well-publicized national credit crisis is not impacting Oklahoma.

Further analysis also shows that lower income respondents, under $25k per year, were about 20 points less likely to say the Oklahoma economy was better than respondent making over $100k. However, there were no real differences in the respondents’ views of the safety of Oklahoma banks when considering the respondent’s income.

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Increased gambling, payday lenders top list of adverse economic factors

OKLAHOMA CITY – Optimistic describes what most Oklahoma bankers feel about the state’s economic condition and many rate their local economies stronger than that of the state, according to a recent survey. Gambling and pay-day lenders had a direct impact on negative indicators such as NSF charges and past-due loans, bankers reported, with rural communities feeling the greatest consequences from those factors.

The scientific survey of 500 Oklahoma bank managers was conducted by SoonerPoll.com, an Oklahoma public opinion research firm and commissioned by the Oklahoma Bankers Association (OBA). The survey had a margin of error of 3.35 percent.

Roger Beverage, OBA President & CEO, SoonerPoll CEO Bill Shapard, Gary Simpson, OSU Professor and OBA Chair of Commercial Bank Management and Chad Wilkerson, Vice President, Branch Executive, & Economist of the Oklahoma City Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and State Banking Commissioner, Mick Thompson presented the results of the survey at a press conference at the OBA headquarters on Thursday.

According to results, bankers slightly believe commercial loan demand will exceed residential loan demand. “This surprised me a bit since nationally residential loan demand remains much weaker than commercial loan demand,” said Wilkerson. “Regardless, the findings overall are quite positive and suggestive of a still solid economy.”

With regard to short term interest rates, bankers 2 to 1 believe short term interest rates will go down then go up, still less than half believe short term interest rates will stay the same in the next six months. “The Oklahoma Econometric Model assumes that the Fed will lower rates in the second half of 2007 as inflationary pressures ease some,” said Simpson, adding “so we should see a small decrease in short term rates.”

“For banks, it means they’re going to have to work harder for customer’s business,” said Beverage, “and that’s good for Oklahomans.”

Adverse impact from increased gambling activity has caused a 1-10 percent increase in NSF and past-due loans for a majority of Oklahoma bankers, the survey indicates, and rural communities appear to be much more vulnerable.

Almost 80 percent of rural bankers reported an increase in NSF charges as a direct result of gambling. Just over half of urban bankers said gambling had caused NSF charges to increase. A similar trend was reported regarding late payments and past due loans, with 67.5 percent of rural and 45.6 percent of urban bankers reporting increases caused by gambling.

Problems with predatory lenders such as payday operators are significant in most Oklahoma communities as well, bankers said.  A majority of bankers reported payday lender problems with as much as 2.5 percent of their customers. Again, a heavier impact was reported by rural bankers, with 63.7 percent reporting payday lender problems, compared to 48.3 percent of urban bankers.

Other negative economic factors about which bankers were asked include past due loans and overvalued real estate. According to survey results, most believe the former will stay the same. Just over 40 percent of bankers said they were “somewhat concerned” about the latter, with another 34 percent only “slightly concerned.”

Some of the poll’s other findings include:

  • A majority of bankers foresee little change in long-term interest rates over the next six months. Almost half said the same about short-term interest rates.
  • More bankers are seeing more demand in DDA accounts than CDs or other savings products.
  • Just over half of bankers believe real estate prices will remain constant in 2007.
  • Most of the state’s bankers believe commercial loan demand will slightly exceed residential loan demand over the next six months, with a stronger increase in the former predicted by urban bankers.

The survey also asked bankers to identify the entities from which they felt the most competition for customers. Other banks in the community led credit unions and other financial institutions as the strongest competitors to Oklahoma banks. Credit unions were listed as the top or second most significant competition by just under half of all bankers surveyed. Unlike banks, credit unions have a competitive advantage as they do not pay federal income taxes and are not subject to community reinvestment consequences.

While the majority of bankers believe both their local economy and that of the state will stay about the same, those who predicted growth believe more will take place close to home. Both the state and local economies were rated ‘good’ by most bankers, and bankers were more than twice as likely to rate their local economy as ‘excellent’ compared to the state’s.

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