SINGAPORE, Jan. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Collectius, the leading debt restructuring partner for financial institutions in Asia, recorded an 18 per cent increase in full-year revenue to US$41.4 million despite subdued sales of non-performing loans (NPLs) from banks in the region last year. Since starting operations in 2016, the company has registered a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 per cent.
Despite market fears of an NPL wave in 2022 due to the pandemic, such a scenario was avoided thanks to a series of debt relief programmes instituted by governments around the region.
However, the challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2022 saw an increase in demand for debt recovery services, particularly among small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Collectius grew its total client base to 100 in 2022, which includes a combination of banks and financial institutions. Its customer base also increased 26% to 6.3 million spread across seven markets (Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, India, and Vietnam).
Collectius’ total assets under management grew 42% to US$7.1 billion in 2022, of which US$4.8 billion are loans purchased by the firm while the remainder are debt serviced on behalf of its clients.
Looking ahead for 2023, Collectius expects NPL sales to accelerate amid signs of asset quality deterioration within the banking sector. The risk of bad debts is also magnified as interest rates continue to rise.
“The majority of loan moratorium programmes introduced by authorities in the region during the height of the pandemic have ceased in recent months, and banks are starting to have a clearer picture of their asset quality. While the strong capitalisation and profitability of banks in the region cushions the impact of bad debts, the rising interest rate environment increases the burden on borrowers and could lead to higher default rates moving forward,” said Gustav A. Eriksson, Group CEO at Collectius.
Highlights in the past year
Despite the soft market conditions for NPLs last year, Collectius still recorded key milestones including acquiring its first secured portfolio when it bought non-performing loans from a global bank in Malaysia following approval from Bank Negara Malaysia.
Last year, Collectius also completed the largest single acquisition in its history when it bought US$800 million worth of NPLs from a Vietnam-based commercial bank, while also securing NPLs from a super app in Southeast Asia in a deal that spans across five markets.
Other highlights in 2022 include opening offices in India and Vietnam, while also reaching a landmark agreement to service the entire end-to-end collection process for a new digital bank in the region.
Strengthening its leadership team
In line with its rapid expansion, Collectius has enhanced its leadership structure with the appointment of Kian Foh Then as Co-CEO. This newly created role seeks to drive growth while also optimising operations across all of Collectius’ markets. Kian, who was previously Deputy CEO, will continue to be based in Singapore.
To further strengthen its data-first business strategy and unlock the opportunities to improve customer experience, Collectius has appointed QiFang Sun as Chief Data and Risk Officer. He will be based in Singapore and starts on 1 February 2023.
Last month, Collectius appointed Dean Young as Chief Operations Officer based out of Singapore. Dean brings with him nearly 20 years of experience in the debt purchasing and recovery business having worked in Southeast Asia, Australia and the US.
Digital debt management becomes more entrenched
Collectius seeks to modernise the traditional debt management industry by providing a fully digital customer experience in a secure environment, while humanising the process of debt recovery. It recently implemented a “Voice of the Customer” programme that aims to collect customer feedback across all channels to improve customer experience in an agile manner.
Looking ahead in 2023, Collectius expects self-service digital debt repayments to flourish in Southeast Asia as digital payment adoption continues to grow in markets such Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.
Founded in 2014, Collectius is Asia’s leading fintech company in debt management services with operations in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and India in which it has a rapidly growing footprint of more than six million customers. The company services consumer and SME non-performing loan portfolios of more than US$7 billion, either purchased by Collectius or held by independent parties.
In a market where an estimated 100 million people are affected by bad debt management practices, Collectius is the market leader and, in partnership with International Finance Corporation (IFC), establishes the best practices for the industry to follow. The ‘Collectius way of Collection’ employs a customer centric approach to debt management supported by a data-driven collection platform and powered by machine learning and digital first communication. Collectius plays a key role in ensuring the stability of the financial system in Asia by providing banks and financial institutions the opportunity to offload their non-performing loans, thus strengthening their balance sheets and enabling them to continue extending credit that facilitates economic growth.
The company is majority-owned by its two founders Gustav A. Eriksson and Ivar Björklund, with the remainder owned by the IFC, Stena AB and Formica Capital.