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    • One in ten Germans has taken on debt during the crisis, and equally as many have been unable to meet their liabilities
    • Debt caused above all by living expenses
    • Single parents (26 percent) and young people (18 percent) disproportionately affected

    Hamburg, February 25, 2021 – The Covid-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on the consumption patterns and financial situation of many consumers in Germany. As a result of the outbreak of Covid-19, around one in ten has been forced to take on debt. These are some of the insights from the recent Covid-19 Financial Report by financial services provider and investor EOS, based on a representative survey in five European countries. The report shows that the respondents from Germany borrowed money mainly just to make ends meet: 39 percent of the Germans with debts have borrowed money to cover their ongoing living expenses, while 29 percent borrowed to cover housing costs and 20 percent for health-related costs. The majority (57 percent) had debts of up to €2,500, while 40 percent owed even more than that. One problematic issue is that 12 percent of respondents stated that since the start of the pandemic they have no longer been able to pay back their liabilities.

    Covid-19 Financial Report: Andreas Kropp, member of the EOS Group’s Board of Directors

    “We are currently in an exceptional situation that was difficult to predict and hard to plan for, and that nobody expected. If some people are then forced to take on debt temporarily to cover the necessities of life, that is perfectly understandable. However, it is highly problematic if they can then no longer meet their obligations as a result,” explains Andreas Kropp, member of the EOS Group’s Board of Directors with responsibility for the German market.

    Single parents and younger people suffer particularly from the crisis

    The pandemic is hitting single parents the hardest, with one in four (26 percent) stating that they have incurred debt as a result of Covid-19. As many as 23 percent have even ended up with excessive debt. Moreover, 39 percent of single parents fear that they will have to borrow money in the next six months as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Another population group with a disproportionately high financial burden consists of young people aged 18 to 29, 18 percent of whom said they had got into debt because of the pandemic. By way of comparison, this was the case for just 6 percent of 50-65 year-olds. In addition, 31 percent of the younger generation fear that they are going to have to take on debt in the future, whereas this applied to just one in ten of older respondents.

    Covid-19 Financial Report: Consumers have ended up with excessive debts in the course of the coronavirus crisis.

    Germany still in a comparatively good position

    To some extent, a European comparison paints quite a different picture. Whereas in Germany 12 percent of respondents had got into debt, this situation had affected 15 percent in Spain, 19 percent in Croatia, 28 percent in Romania and as many as 32 percent in Bulgaria. “German government measures like short-time work payments or economic assistance have helped to protect many Germans from debt due to the pandemic,” says Kropp. “Accordingly, Germany has so far come through the crisis with relative stability.”

    Germans are cutting expenditure above all on vacations, but are keen to travel again soon

    The strained economic situation is nevertheless being reflected in the consumption patterns of Germans. A large majority (80 percent), for example, have refrained from necessary or planned expenditure during the pandemic. German consumers most often went without their vacation (65 percent), but were also cutting spending on furnishings (21 percent), renovations (19 percent) as well as on health (12 percent) and education (12 percent). And after the crisis? Above all, Germans are longing to travel again. After the pandemic is over, 60 percent plan to spend money on a vacation first.

     

    About the EOS Group’s Covid-19 Financial Report

    On behalf of the EOS Group, online survey specialist Dynata polled 7,000 consumers (of whom 2,000 were Germans) aged 18-65 in Bulgaria, Germany, Croatia, Romania and Spain. The respondents provided information about how the Covid-19 pandemic had affected their consumption patterns and financial situation. The survey was conducted in January 2021 and is representative of the (online) population aged 18 years and over in the participating countries.

    About EOS Group

    The EOS Group is one of the leading technology-driven financial investors and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 40 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, insurance companies, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 7,500 people and is part of the Otto Group.

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  • Hamburg, Germany, December 1, 2020 – On Friday the German Parliament adopted a new debt collection law whose provisions include a reduction in fees charged. EOS, one of the largest German debt collection companies and a major buyer of NPLs on the market, expects that this will have negative consequences for many creditors. The law is expected to enter into force in October 2021.

    “We welcome the government's intention to improve consumer protections through the new debt collection regulations. However, we do see a risk that SMEs in particular will experience a higher number of payment defaults because it will no longer be possible in future to recover small amounts cost-effectively, for example,” explains Andreas Kropp, member of the EOS Group's Board of Directors responsible for the German market. “In addition, payment practices could deteriorate, which has a negative impact on creditors and the economy in general.” Among other things the law provides for a lower collection fee in the event of small claims of up to €50.

    Investments increased: EOS Consolidated once again bumped up revenue in Germany in 2018/19
    Andreas Kropp, member of the EOS Group's Board of Directors responsible for the German market

    Even now, in keeping with its purpose “For a debt-free world”, EOS does not always exhaust the fee options available to it under the statutory framework, so as to give defaulting payers a realistic chance of paying back their outstanding debts. Moreover, the company has established a dedicated team to look at cases of hardship and seek individual solutions depending on the life circumstances or age of the consumers involved. “Anyone who engages in dialog with us can rely on our willingness to talk. Unfortunately there will always be people who do not have a genuine interest in settling their bills,” says Kropp. “I think there is a danger here that the new law will be seen as an invitation to incur debts, to the detriment of creditors and all consumers who do pay their bills on time. In addition, I would have preferred to see more centralized oversight of the debt collection sector, so that the few black sheep operating in our industry are no longer able to do business.”

     

    About EOS Group

    The EOS Group is one of the leading technology-driven financial investors and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 40 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 7,500 people and is part of the Otto Group.

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    • Only 35 percent of Germans trust companies to handle digital data
    • Banks and online payment providers enjoy the greatest trust overall, but there is less trust than in other countries
    • Germans particularly cautious about health data

    Hamburg, October 27, 2020 – Digital data are a valuable asset for companies. Data helps companies better understand their customers and their preferences and respond to market trends. However, the willingness of consumers to disclose their data is crucially dependent on trust. In this respect, companies in Germany have not fared particularly well until now, as only 35 percent of Germans trust companies to handle digital data. This puts Germany in the European average (mean value: 33 percent). The lowest level of trust is in France (18 percent). These are some of the findings from a representative survey entitled “What’s the value of data?” conducted by financial services provider and investor EOS in 17 countries. Germans have good reason to be concerned, as more than one in five consumers in Germany (22 percent) has had negative experiences with disclosing their data online. Only Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Poland and the Czech Republic have higher percentages in this regard.

    Digital trust: Infographic “Great skepticism about handling data”

    More skepticism towards banks and health data than in other countries

    There are clear differences between sectors: In Germany, banks and financial services providers enjoy the greatest level of trust when it comes to handling customer data (47 percent). However, in an international comparison, Germany is below the average in this context (Europe: 54 percent, USA: 56 percent, Russia: 54 percent). The fact that in all countries, financial data are regarded as the most worthy of protection shows how important trust is in this segment. In this respect, Germans do not have more concerns than other nationals, however, they are the only respondents to find insights into their bank accounts even more sensitive than account and credit card details. What is noticeable is that in Germany, health details are considered to be particularly sensitive. The majority of Germans would not hand over this data even to a company they consider trustworthy. Whereas 31 percent of Europeans would disclose health data for money, in Germany the figure is only 18 percent. Like consumers in all the other countries polled, Germans are least likely to trust social networks and messaging services (12 percent).

    Data minimization and transparency create trust

    The challenge for companies is to show consumers in a transparent and credible way that they will treat their data responsibly. This is something that EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst is also working on, as Dr. Henning Stolze, Head of Data Governance & Data Management, explains: “EOS uses data to achieve the best possible individualized management of receivables, and this benefits defaulting payers as well. We need to make this more transparent and at the same build trust that the data will only be used for very specific purposes.” According to Stolze, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) can help significantly towards achieving this. Thanks to its clear-cut framework, it has already increased trust in the use of data in many places and has created the necessary transparency for consumers about what happens with their data.

    What’s the value of data? Henning Stolze, Head of Data Governance & Data Management, EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst.
    Dr. Henning Stolze, Head of Data Governance & Data Management, EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst
    Digital trust: Infographic “Which data do Germans consider to be the most sensitive?”

    Call to action: continue to build trust

    As the survey shows, gaining and building trust is still a major work in progress for many companies in Germany as well. “We need to move away from information asymmetry and give consumers back their sense of control over their data,” says Stolze. The survey revealed that a lot of Germans feel that they often do not have a choice about disclosing their data. Around two thirds (63 percent) complain that without disclosing their details they otherwise cannot even make full use of online services. In addition, more than half of German consumers feel they do not have enough information about how to prevent or limit the disclosure of their data.

    Digital Trust: Clemens Hosemann, Data Privacy Manager at EOS in Germany
    Clemens Hosemann, Data Privacy Manager at EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst

    Data minimization in self-service portals

    One example of data minimization is the EOS service portal for defaulting payers. Clemens Hosemann, Data Privacy Manager at EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst, explains how this helps build trust: “Via the portal we only collect the data absolutely necessary for the payment process. This allows consumers to settle their debts quickly and simply by themselves, as only the claim number, amount and necessary payment information are requested. No other personal data needs to be provided. Only those wishing to have a customized processing arrangement may opt to volunteer additional details.”

    About the representative EOS survey “What's the value of data?” 2020

    The EOS survey, which was conducted in partnership with market research institute Kantar in the spring of 2020, is representative of the (online) population over the age of 18 in the 17 countries polled. A random sample of 1,000 respondents from each of the countries Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the USA, and 300 respondents from North Macedonia, was used for the analysis. The survey participants answered questions on their personal handling and disclosure of data, their trust in companies and their willingness to sell data for compensation.

    You can download other survey results and infographics, and a free white paper, here.

    About EOS Group

    The EOS Group is one of the leading technology-driven financial investors and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 40 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 7,500 people and is part of the Otto Group.

    For more information on EOS Group, please go to www.eos-solutions.com

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    • Opportunity for companies: More than a third of respondents in favor of “compensation for data”
    • Just 23 percent have already been made an offer to disclose their data
    • Majority of Germans not aware of the value of their data

    Hamburg, October 6, 2020 – In today's digital environment, data like bank account number, date of birth, address, health details or purchasing preferences have become a key economic asset. This is why increasingly certain questions about the value of data and how it is handled are becoming a matter of public debate. This has also been borne out by a recent representative survey entitled “What's the value of data?” conducted in 17 countries by financial services provider and investor EOS. The survey found that almost 60 percent of German consumers think that they should be compensated for the use of their data. The willingness of German consumers to sell their data is surprising: At 36 percent, Germans come in at slightly above the European average (34 percent) and are not as cautious as their reputation suggests. In the under-35 cohort, the figure even increases to almost half (46 percent). A good 22 percent have already taken up a “data for compensation” deal, which is also higher than the European average of 18 percent.

    What’s the value of data? Infographic “Data for compensation”
    Germans are especially cautious about their fitness data and contact details, but one in six is prepared to reveal data on their purchasing behaviors in return for payment.

    Trust and type of data are crucial for disclosure

    The willingness to share personal information with companies depends on consumer trust in how they handle the data, particularly when it comes to complying with statutory regulations. However, another relevant factor is the type of data involved. For example, according to the EOS survey around 60 percent of Germans would disclose personal information or data on purchasing decisions and preferences for products and brands in return for money. Interaction data or data on surfing behaviors are also seen as rather unproblematic (45 percent). However, account or credit card details, and insights into their bank account, are considered by a vast majority to be too sensitive to sell (less than 10 percent). When asked about their specific compensation preferences, around half of the respondents found material rewards and discounts particularly attractive, while there was less demand for privileged customer status (18 percent) and better services (13 percent).

    What’s the value of data? Infographic “What compensation do Germans prefer in exchange for their data?”
    What would you exchange your data for? Germans clearly prefer discounts and material rewards.

    Data-based analyses and customized solutions

    The survey makes clear that companies are often still not exploiting the potential of encouraging their customers to disclose information and then using this data effectively. A look at receivables management shows that this can be worthwhile. “We evaluate debt collection processes to constantly improve our services with the help of machine learning algorithms,” explains Jakob Spitzer, Head of Analysis & Control at EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst: “In Germany in particular, the legal framework provides a sound foundation for an appropriate handling of data. With the help of a robust database, we determine the most efficient action to be taken next in the collection process. We see data as the fuel for analytical decisions, therefore it is a valuable resource. The better the data available, the better for all parties, because the defaulting payers also benefit from realistic payment plans.”

    What’s the value of data? Jakob Spitzer, Head of Analytics & Data Governance at EOS Germany
    Jakob Spitzer, Head of Analysis & Control at EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst

    Dr. Henning Stolze, Head of Data Governance & Data Management, EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst, adds: “Companies need to start being more transparent about compensation for data and how it is used. That means also pointing out the options for what a consumer can specifically get in return for providing data. This allows both sides to benefit.”

    Lack of clarity about the value of data

    The EOS survey revealed that only one in five Germans had been offered compensation to disclose certain details. However, there is still a lack of clarity about the specific monetary value of data. For example, 65 percent of Germans believe that most consumers are not aware of the monetary value of their data. Although 78 percent of respondents would sell their personal information to a trustworthy company, only around a half of them (47 percent) actually had a specific price in mind. For about 43 percent of them this was less than 50 euros, while another 20 percent specified a range of up to maximum 100 euros. However, 17 percent would be willing to disclose data for a sum of up to 500 euros, while one in five would even hold out for more than 500 euros as compensation.

    What’s the value of data? Henning Stolze, Head of Data Governance & Data Management, EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst.
    Dr. Henning Stolze, Head of Data Governance & Data Management, EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst

    “The uncertainty about the value of data affects all parties equally, whether consumers or companies,” says Stolze. “Everyone is familiar with the saying ‘data is gold’, but what does that actually mean? At EOS this resulted in a project where we defined what were the most valuable data fields for us and determined as specific a value for them as possible based on relevant parameters like risk avoidance or cost reduction. If as a company we quantify the value of data to us this can provide a basis for very sound decision-making. Because once you are aware of the value of data you treat it very carefully. It's a discussion that is set to continue over the next few years.”

    About the representative EOS survey “What's the value of data?” 2020

    The EOS survey, which was conducted in partnership with market research institute Kantar in the spring of 2020, is representative of the (online) population over the age of 18 in the 17 countries polled. A random sample of 1,000 respondents from each of the countries Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the USA, and 300 respondents from North Macedonia, was used for the analysis. The survey participants answered questions on their personal handling and disclosure of data, their trust in companies and their willingness to sell data for compensation.

    You can download other survey results and infographics, and a free white paper, here.

    About EOS Group

    The EOS Group is one of the leading technology-driven financial investors and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 40 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 7,500 people and is part of the Otto Group.

    For more information on EOS Group, please go to www.eos-solutions.com

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  • Berlin, September 18, 2020 – The EOS Group will provide the President of the German Association of Debt Collection Companies (BDIU) for another four years. Kirsten Pedd, Chief Compliance Officer and Head of Public Affairs for the international financial services provider, was unanimously confirmed in office yesterday by the association's members. Pedd, who has been representing EOS in the BDIU for almost 20 years, was the first woman appointed to lead the association in 2016.

    “I am very pleased that the members of the BDIU have given me their vote of confidence by re-electing me,” says Pedd. “I am especially proud that we were able to adopt our Code of Conduct, which shows that responsibility and fairness are not just empty words for us but a real commitment.”

    The Code of Conduct unanimously adopted at the AGM covers the entire life cycle of a receivable, from acceptance of the collection order and communication with defaulting payers to other obligations related to the processing of payments and the handling of complaints and queries. Kirsten Pedd was the driving force behind its development.

    Profile of Kirsten Pedd, Chief Compliance Officer and Head of Public Affairs
    Kirsten Pedd, Chief Compliance Officer & Head of Public Affairs, EOS Group

    About EOS Group

    The EOS Group is one of the leading technology-driven financial investors and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 40 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 7,500 people and is part of the Otto Group.

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  • Hamburg, September 16, 2020 – EOS Deutschland is the only debt collection firm to be given the distinction “most innovative company” by Focus and Focus Money magazines this year. The study showed that as a leading provider of receivables management services, EOS is setting the benchmark in its sector. The investigation analyzed more than 18 million statements in digital media and rated the perceived innovative strength of the around 5,000 German companies with the largest workforces. The assessment looked at five aspects: innovation activity, investments, R&D, product innovations and technology.

    “It is fantastic that the investment and huge commitment we have made in the optimization of our collection processes in recent years has obviously been so positively received,” says Jürgen Borgartz, Managing Director of EOS Deutschland. “We are thrilled to receive this award and will continue to do our utmost to support our clients with innovative, data-driven solutions for processing their outstanding receivables. At the same time we are investing in technology that facilitates individual installment plans that take account of the financial situation of the defaulting consumers, particularly in the current circumstances.”

    The EOS Group, a technology-driven financial investor and service provider operating in 26 countries worldwide, invested more than €25 million in innovative technologies in fiscal 2019/20. Around 500 employees worldwide are responsible for developing and implementing digital processes. In Germany, the focus is on developing a proprietary AI-based collection software program that will make receivables processing even more efficient in the future. Based on intelligent data analysis, the system helps EOS specialists decide the best actions to take next in the collection process. Compared with conventional processing methods, the company is achieving an increase in payment receipts of around 10 percent with the help of the software.

    Other examples of successful innovation projects from EOS in Germany are data-driven portfolio valuation when purchasing receivables packages, the wide range of modern payment methods like Apple Pay or Google Pay that EOS offers consumers who are settling their outstanding debts on its online service portal, and the use of artificial intelligence to ward off potential hacker attacks.


    About EOS Group

    The EOS Group is one of the leading technology-driven financial investors and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 40 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 7,500 people and is part of the Otto Group.

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    • Increase in revenue due to strong business performance in Eastern Europe
    • Again, a high level of investment in secured and unsecured receivables
    • Strong push towards digitalization

    Hamburg, Germany, July 15, 2020 – By consistently following its strategic direction as a technology-driven debt collection provider and financial investor, the EOS Group headquartered in Hamburg has again increased its revenue in the 2019/20 financial year. With a 4.8% increase in revenue to EUR 853.1 million, the previous year recorded very positive results. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) grew to EUR 343.4 million.

    Regional strengths, push for digitalization and high level of investment key success factors

    The international provider of tailored financial services, which is part of the Otto Group, can largely attribute its increase in earnings to a substantial 31.3% increase in revenue in Eastern Europe. Other important success factors include the strong push towards digitalization and the cultural development of the EOS Group combined with the consistently high level of investment of EUR 651.3 million in secured and unsecured receivables and real estate.

    “I feel very proud as I look back at the last financial year. It is the most successful year in the history of the EOS Group,” says Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group. “Above all, I would like to single out the tremendous progress we have made in digitalization, with EUR 25 million invested in expanding our core IT systems, and the focus on our cultural transformation process. The use of artificial intelligence and advanced data analyses will help boost innovation in our industry. And in uncertain times like in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, in particular, reliable processes, highly professional receivables management and sustainable financing are more important than ever for companies. We can offer all of this to our customers and we expect successful growth for our business in the coming year too.”

    Please find more figures and information in our online annual report.

    Distribution of consolidated revenue of EOS Group in fiscal 2019/20 among global partner companies
    Revenue of the EOS Group in the various regions for fiscal 2019/20

    Germany remains most important EOS market

    Germany is again the strongest performing region in the EOS Group, with a 35.6% share of the consolidated revenue. The decline compared to the previous year to EUR 303.3 million resulted primarily from the sale of EOS Health Honorarmanagement AG. Even though fewer significant debt packages were offered on the highly competitive German market, EOS won crucial revolving portfolios and confirmed its leading position on account of its many years of experience and good reputation. Totaling EUR 236.0 million, the level of investment exceeded that of the previous year – particularly in the area of unsecured receivables.

    “The success in Germany is primarily due to our operational excellence and intense sales activities in close proximity to our customers. Together with numerous digitalization initiatives and our outstanding reputation – also with respect to data protection – this makes us a reliable and attractive partner for our customers,” says Andreas Kropp, Member of the EOS Group’s Board of Directors and responsible for the German market. “To secure this position and our future viability, we are focusing our investments on our most important areas: employees, culture and technology.”

    More information on the EOS financial year 2019/20 in Germany.

    Substantial revenue increase in Eastern Europe leads to record high

    With a EUR 63.6 million increase in revenue compared with the previous year to EUR 266.7 million in the region of Eastern Europe, EOS is thrilled to achieve a record high. This can be largely attributed to much higher revenues from receivables purchases, especially in Russia and Poland, but Croatia, Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria also made significant gains in revenue. Other major drivers included the development of collection software “Kollecto +” and the resulting increased efficiency in the processing of receivables. In the last financial year, EOS in Eastern Europe also carried out significant transactions in non-performing loans (NPL). The highest NPL investments were made in Poland, Croatia, Russia and Hungary. In addition, with an NPL portfolio comprising EUR 350 million, Bulgaria made the largest secured debt purchase on the Bulgarian market to date.

    “Our strong local expertise, our approach to dealing fairly with defaulting payers and our cooperation with customers, often across borders, are all paying off,” explains Marwin Ramcke, Member of the EOS Group’s Board of Directors and responsible for Eastern Europe. “As a result, we gained important momentum in secured and unsecured debt collection and could share knowledge and expertise within the Group. We also made substantial investments in secured debt portfolios in Slovenia and Serbia, and are now in a position to process secured and unsecured receivables in all the Eastern European countries in the best possible way,” says Ramcke.

    More information on the EOS financial year 2019/20 in Eastern Europe.

    Stable business performance in Western Europe

    In Western Europe, the very pleasing operational business performance in Belgium, France and Austria resulted in a 5% overall increase in revenue, exceeding the previous year’s result. Therefore, the regional EOS companies again held their ground as the leading provider for debt purchasing. Despite persistently tough market conditions, France stood out and made significantly larger investments in both portfolios secured by real estate and unsecured portfolios. Belgium and Spain also increased their investment activities. The nominal value of a package of 47,000 receivables that EOS Aremas in Belgium purchased from bpost bank, for example, is EUR 36 million.

    “The EOS Group is very well positioned in Western Europe. Thanks to our expertise and many years of experience, especially in banking and telecommunications, we are a preferred strategic partner for our customers,” comments Dr. Andreas Witzig, Member of the EOS Group’s Board of Directors and responsible for the Western European and North American regions. “We are making huge investments in big data and analytics and are helping to resolve problems relating to NPLs. Despite the coronavirus crisis, which has hit France and Spain particularly hard, we remain a reliable partner in the field of fiduciary services and debt purchasing,” confirms Witzig.

    More information on the EOS financial year 2019/20 in Western Europe.

    Growing investments in North America

    With a five percent increase in revenue of EUR 2.6 million, the North American region was slightly above the previous year’s result. In particular, the strategic focus on debt purchasing, in which EOS invested a total of EUR 28.8 million, almost EUR 4 million more than the previous year, paid off in the USA. In Canada, revenue was markedly above the 2018/19 financial year and thus well above target. The focus on fiduciary services, in particular, was developed further.

    “The North American market is a challenging environment for the EOS Group, but Canada is developing very satisfactorily,” comments Dr. Andreas Witzig, Member of the EOS Group’s Board of Directors and responsible for the Western European and North American regions. “We have become one of the market leaders in fiduciary collection there in recent years and have clearly exceeded the expectations for revenue and earnings for 2019/20. Along with our Canadian team, we are very proud of this. In the US, our increased investment in purchase of receivables is showing positive trends. We intend to continue this focus in the current financial year,” adds Witzig.

    About EOS Group

    The EOS Group is one of the leading technology-driven financial investors and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 40 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 7,500 people and is part of the Otto Group.

    For more information on EOS Group, please go to www.eos-solutions.com

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  • Euler Hermes Rating, one of Europe’s leading rating agencies, has once again given the credit standing of EOS Holding an A rating. For the 16th time in a row, EOS impressed the auditors with their very high, stable level of earnings and excellent capital structure. The rating assessment emphasized their many years of experience in the valuation, acquisition and recovery of non-performing receivables, their market leadership in Germany and strong position in the European market, in particular.

    This builds confidence: Despite the coronavirus crisis, Euler Hermes rates the financial risk of EOS as low. Although there may be a decline in revenue and earnings in the short to medium term, the auditors again expect a good to very good level of earnings in the long term.

    Sustainable investments on a substantial scale

    In recent years, EOS has systematically stepped up its activities as a financial investor and has established itself as a market leader in the purchase of debt packages in some countries. In the 2019/20 financial year, the company invested EUR 651.3 million in unsecured and secured receivables and real estate.

    "We want to make substantial, sustainable investments in receivables packages in the coming years too," points out Justus Hecking-Veltman, Chief Financial Officer of the EOS Group. "In this context, spreading our risk over several countries is very important. Nevertheless, we do not win every portfolio with our pricing models. In certain markets, we go through phases in which we do not succeed for a long period of time. Nevertheless, we are sticking firmly to the script, because this is what makes us a stable, soundly operating and reliable company, today and in the future."

     

    About EOS Group

    The EOS Group is one of the leading technology-driven financial investors and an expert in the processing of outstanding receivables. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. With over 40 years of experience, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world smart services for all their receivables management needs. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS employs more than 7,500 people and is part of the Otto Group.

    Further related articles and expert opinions on key topics

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    • EOS survey shows fear of job losses due to AI
    • Across Europe, German decision-makers are the least likely to trust AI
    • Potential in receivables management, for example, is being untappe

    Hamburg, November 5, 2019 – 30 percent of financial executives in Europe believe that artificial intelligence (AI) will drastically reduce the error rate in receivables management. Only 12 percent of their German peers share this opinion, putting them clearly at the bottom of the European rankings. This is one of the findings of the representative survey “European Payment Practices” 2019, which was conducted by financial services provider EOS in 17 European countries. More than a third of the managers polled in Germany consider the issue of AI to be completely overrated. Accordingly, just 6 percent look forward to working with AI. In all other countries, decision-makers are much more optimistic about this cutting-edge technology: 18 percent cannot wait to work with AI. However, in respect of the transformation potential of AI, German executives have similar views to their other European colleagues: 41 percent of Germans think that jobs in their area are at risk due to AI (average for Europe 47 percent).

    AI – job killer or helpful support?

    It seems logical for German managers to be slightly less worried about the threat to jobs, given that they tend to underestimate the potential of AI to improve things in their area compared with specialists in other countries. “This could be an expensive miscalculation, because it means that the potential of AI is being untapped,” says Jakob Spitzer, Head of Analytics & Data Governance at EOS Deutscher Inkasso-Dienst. Spitzer and his team are working on AI solutions that provide support with receivables management. “My experience is that the more our colleagues engage with the topic, the clearer the enormous potential of AI becomes. Because when you use AI tools it quickly becomes apparent that they help you do your own job and create new opportunities.”

    So at EOS, for example, AI-supported software is designed to help collection agents choose the most promising method of contacting the defaulting payer. In this context one of the things the system does is to suggest the type of individual approach, whether by letter, phone call or SMS, that is most suitable for the respective circumstances. This allows the collection agent to process the case much faster.

    Denmark vs. Germany 32 : 4

    Danes have already recognized the great potential of AI: 32 percent of the decision-makers polled in Denmark were prepared to rely completely on artificial intelligence in receivables management. The European average is 19 percent and in Germany just 4 percent. Jakob Spitzer: “Those who are less wary of innovations will be quicker to tap into their potential. As one of the leading companies in receivables management we rate the potential of AI as very high.”

    German companies more skeptical than their European neighbors

      Germany Europe

    “I can well imagine relying completely on artificial intelligence.

    4% 19%

    “I can’t wait to work with artificial intelligence in receivables management.”

    6% 18%

    “The use of artificial intelligence in receivables management puts jobs at risk.”

    41% 47%

    “Artificial intelligence will be a trending issue in receivables management in the next two years.”

    20% 30%

    “Artificial intelligence is just a buzzword and is completely overrated.”

    36% 36%

     

    About the representative EOS Survey “European Payment Practices” 2019

    In partnership with independent market research institute Kantar, EOS conducted phone interviews with 3,400 companies in 17 European countries to ask them about the prevailing payment practices in their respective locations. In the spring of 2019, 200 companies (each with an annual turnover of more than EUR 5 million) in each of the countries Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK answered questions about their own payment experiences and current issues relating to risk and receivables management. The annual survey has now been conducted by EOS no less than 12 times.

    Downloads / further information

    Please find more information on our study website.

    About EOS Group

    EOS Group is a leading international provider of customized financial services. As a specialist in the evaluation and processing of receivables, EOS deploys new technologies to offer its some 20,000 customers in 26 countries financial security through smart services. The company’s core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. Working within an international network of partner companies, EOS Group has a workforce of more than 7,500 and over 60 subsidiaries, so it can access resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS is part of Otto Group.

    More about EOS Group: www.eos-solutions.com

     

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    • Half of European companies regard their degree of digitalization to be high or very high – in Germany only 26 percent do so
    • Only one percent of German companies has a completely digital dunning procedure, compared with 17 percent across Europe

    Hamburg, Germany, October 23, 2019 – The survey is representative and the picture it paints is unambiguous. 3,400 financial executives in 17 European countries were surveyed on behalf of financial services provider EOS. Overall, 14 percent regard the degree of digitalization in their companies compared with other sectors to be very high (Germany: 5 percent) and 35 percent as high (Germany: 21 percent). This means that German managers clearly rate their companies as the worst performers in Europe in this conjunction. Even more striking are the insights provided about dunning processes.  Only one percent of companies in Germany currently have fully digitalized dunning processes, compared with 17 percent across the rest of Europe. In two-thirds of German companies the dunning procedure has only been partly digitalized (47 percent) or barely digitalized at all (17 percent). This is despite the fact that digitalizing the dunning process significantly reduces payment defaults.

    High investment requirement delays digitalization process

    “As the figures show, the majority of German companies are still lagging behind when it comes to digital dunning processes. There is an acute need to take action here to avoid the risk of payment defaults,” says Justus Hecking-Veltman, Chief Financial Officer of the EOS Group. “A manual, analogue dunning system is not just susceptible to errors but generally does not reach the customer using what is the most suitable communication channel for them personally at the best possible time.”

    The financial expert believes the main reason for the sluggish progress of digitalization is the high level of investment required to modify dunning processes. “The introduction of digital tools and processes calls for considerable financial resources in addition to having the right mindset,” says Hecking-Veltman. “At EOS, for example, we invested around 10 million euros in the last fiscal year alone in the digital upgrade of our core debt collection systems.”

      Germany Europe

    Very high degree of digitalization at company

    5% 14%

    High degree of digitalization at company

    21% 35%

    Fully digitalized dunning system

    1% 17%

    Dunning system largely digitalized

    33% 24%

    Dunning system partially digitalized

    47% 38%

    Dunning system barely digitalized

    17% 17%

     

    About the representative EOS Survey “European Payment Practices” 2019

    In partnership with independent market research institute Kantar, EOS conducted phone interviews with 3,400 companies in 17 European countries to ask them about the prevailing payment practices in their respective locations. In the spring of 2019, 200 companies (each with an annual turnover of more than EUR 5 million) in each of the countries Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK answered questions about their own payment experiences and current issues relating to risk and receivables management. The annual survey has now been conducted by EOS no less than 12 times.

    Downloads / further information

    Please find more information on our study website.

    About EOS Group

    EOS Group is a leading international provider of customized financial services. As a specialist in the evaluation and processing of receivables, EOS deploys new technologies to offer its some 20,000 customers in 26 countries financial security through smart services. The company’s core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. Working within an international network of partner companies, EOS Group has a workforce of more than 7,500 and over 60 subsidiaries, so it can access resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce. EOS is part of Otto Group.

    More about EOS Group: www.eos-solutions.com

     

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  • Hamburg. 55 per cent of Russians are ‘debt avoiders’, ahead of Germans (45 per cent) and US Americans (37 per cent). The ‘EOS Debt Survey’ 2017 shows how people deal with debt differently depending on the country they live in. On behalf of financial services provider EOS, social research institute forsa conducted a representative online survey in Germany, the USA and Russia. It identified five different types of debtor: The ‘careless debtor’, the ‘debt junkie’, the ‘occasional debtor’, the ‘mortgage debtor’ and the ‘debt avoider’.

    The figures: Debtor types compared by country
    Although ‘debt avoiders’ are in the relative majority in all three countries, there are distinct differences in the second-placed categories:

    Typical for Germany is the ‘mortgage debtor, who does not like to take on debt on principle but often does not regard a loan to buy property as real debt. The ‘mortgage debtor’ comes in second place in Germany at 36 per cent – a remarkable level compared with the other countries, especially as this figure has risen by as much as 10 percent points in Germany since 2015. ‘The stable economic conditions in Germany and low interest rates are allowing many Germans to realise their dream of owning a home. However, compared with US Americans, for example, we are more cautious here in Germany and reluctant to take on further debt’, explains Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group.

    ‘Careless debtors’, who service several loans at once, actually come in second place in the USA at 29 per cent, only just behind the top position – but this figure has gone up by nine per cent points since 2015. Professor Manfred Güllner, founder and Managing Director of forsa, explains the background:
    ‘Americans have a strong reliance on credit. But at the same time, due to the lack of state insurance cover in the health system and a partially fee-based education system in the USA, there is also a great necessity to take on debt’.

    In Russia, on the other hand, the second most frequent type is the ‘occasional debtor’, at 27 per cent. Accordingly, every fourth Russian finds debt to be an emotional burden, but is still prepared to take out instalment loans in emergency situations. Because of the low rate of home ownership, mortgage loans only play a subordinate role in Russia. ‘In the ‘Putin era’, the economic situation in everyday life is relatively stable, albeit at a low level for many people. Our figures therefore show little change in the last two years’, says Professor Güllner. Klaus Engberding sheds light on the significance of the results for EOS: ‘The survey makes social and cultural differences transparent. For us as a financial services provider this offers the ideal basis for a better understanding of debtors worldwide and helps us find solutions that are in the interest of all participants’.


    About the ‘EOS Debt Survey’ 2017
    On behalf of the EOS Group, independent market and social research institute forsa conducted a survey of adults in three countries from 17 August till 4 September 2017. In online interviews, 2,017 people in Germany and 1,005 each in the USA and Russia were asked about their personal attitude to debt, their handling of debt and their own financial status. The results are representative of internet users aged between 18 and 69 in the respective country. In the survey, people are referred to as having debts if they are currently paying back one or several instalment loans, leasing agreements or a mortgage. Further results of the survey are available online at www.eos-solutions.com/debt-survey-2017.

    The EOS Group
    The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customised financial services. Its main focus is on receivables management covering three key business segments: fiduciary collection, debt purchase and business process outsourcing. With around 7,000 employees and more than 55 subsidiaries, EOS offers some 20,000 clients in 26 countries around the world financial security with tailored services in the B2C and B2B segments. Being connected to an international network of partner companies, the EOS Group has access to resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities and telecommunications, along with the public sector, real estate, mail order and e-commerce. For more information please visit: www.eos-solutions.com.

    Print
  • Hamburg. 78 per cent of Germans have had debts before. And seven per cent of Germans know the feeling of not being able to repay debts. The ''EOS Debt Survey" 2017 shows that Germans are becoming more reticent about taking on debt. Almost nine out of ten Germans (88 per cent) for example, say that they want to keep their debts to a minimum – that is as much as nine per cent more than in 2015. In the USA and Russia this was stated by 67 and 76 per cent of respondents respectively. "What is astonishing is that particularly in Germany, where the economic situation is very good at the moment, there is a mood of reluctance to get into debt. Periods of stable income and the current interest rate situation worldwide actually present the best conditions for making major investments and paying instalments on time,'' says Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group, by way of analysis. These facts represent the basic results of the second "EOS Debt Survey" 2017, a representative online poll that was conducted on behalf of financial services provider EOS by social research institute forsa.


    The emotional "debt account"
    Not being able to pay back debts makes people feel bad. This was the experience of nine out of ten Germans (91 per cent), but only three out of four Americans and Russians (76 per cent). This result has gone up by as much as seven per cent in Germany since the first EOS Debt Survey in 2015. Only four per cent of Germans – that is a decrease compared to two years ago – are in favour of taking on debt if they have no money. Nevertheless, only three per cent of Germans would get into debt in order to pay for vacations. For 17 per cent of Russians and Americans, however, this would not be a problem.


    Self-image versus the way others see us: "I'm conscientious, others are reckless!"
    What attitude do Germans have to their own debts – and those of others? Three out of four respondents (73 per cent) assume that nowadays a lot of people have debts. A look at the facts, however, shows that around half of Germans (51 per cent) are currently paying back debts. Anyone who has at some point had difficulties repaying debts usually gave the main reason for this as losing their job (29 per cent) or over-extending themselves financially (24 per cent, in Russia 44 per cent and in the USA 24 per cent). When asked about the general situation in society, however, nine out of ten Germans (89 per cent) believe that the reason for payment difficulties is overextending oneself financially (in Russia 54 per cent and in the USA 48 per cent). Around two thirds of Germans (63 per cent) describe themselves as only taking on debt in absolute emergencies (in Russia 75 per cent and in the USA 40 per cent). "Germans only rarely have problems paying back debt but they assume that their fellow citizens are reckless and take on debt a lot,'' comments Professor Manfred Güllner from forsa. "But one would actually do better to trust one's fellow citizens to generally do the right thing in respect of financial matters."


    Germans dream of owning their own homes – but then buy a car
    In their own estimation, Germans are most likely to take on debt to buy residential property (82 per cent). The purchase of a car or motorcycle comes in third place at 56 per cent. But in reality, 60 per cent of Germans are currently paying off loans, or have done so in the past, for a car or motorcycle – while only about every second has done so for the purchase of real estate (45 per cent). If you leave out mortgages, every third German (33 per cent) is currently paying back debts. Of these, 55 per cent are servicing just one loan, 30 per cent two loans and 14 per cent three or more loans. "The survey confirms our experience that most people generally behave responsibly as far as financial matters are concerned. We basically assume that the vast majority of consumers would like to pay their bills on time, but are sometimes simply unable to do so due to short-term or long-term problems,'' concludes Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group.


    About the “EOS Debt Survey” 2017
    On behalf of the EOS Group, independent market and social research institute forsa conducted a survey of adults in three countries from 17 August till 4 September 2017. In online interviews, 2,017 people in Germany and 1,005 each in the USA and Russia were asked about their personal attitude to debt, their handling of debt and their own financial status. The results are representative of internet users aged between 18 and 69 in the respective country. In the survey, people are referred to as having debts if they are currently paying back one or several instalment loans, leasing agreements or a mortgage. Further results of the survey are available online at www.eos-solutions.com/debt-survey-2017.
     

    The EOS Group
    The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customised financial services. Its main focus is on receivables management covering three key business segments: fiduciary collection, debt purchase and business process outsourcing. With around 7,000 employees and more than 55 subsidiaries, EOS offers some 20,000 clients in 26 countries around the world financial security with tailored services in the B2C and B2B segments. Being connected to an international network of partner companies, the EOS Group has access to resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities and telecommunications, along with the public sector, real estate, mail order and e-commerce. For more information please visit: www.eos-solutions.com.

    Print
  • Hamburg. German companies are falling behind when it comes to digitalising their dunning processes. So far, only three per cent of companies in Germany have completely electronically upgraded their dunning and billing systems. At present, one third of companies doubt that digitalisation has a beneficial effect on payment collection. A misconception, as demonstrated by a look at the rest of Europe, where 18 per cent of companies have already completely digitalised their dunning processes – and are reaping the benefits of a better repayment rate, according to 49 per cent of respondents. These were some of the findings of the representative EOS Survey ‘European Payment Practices’ 2017, which was conducted this year for the tenth time (by Kantar TNS, formerly TNS Infratest).

    The status quo of Europe's modern receivables management
    Digital dunning means that companies set up and manage dunning processes to be customer-specific and highly automated, for example using big data analyses. Although for the most part companies continue to use software to support the dunning process, staff are often still intervening in the process themselves. In future, the role of employees will change as a result of digitalised processes. Their daily work routine will consist of control tasks and the processing of specific complex cases, instead of a series of individual activities along the entire process chain.
    In Western Europe in particular, companies have already responded to the benefits of digitalisation and have adapted their dunning processes accordingly. Every fifth company here is already exploiting the benefits of a digital dunning system. The trailblazers are Spain (58 per cent), Switzerland (53 per cent) and Hungary (53 per cent).

    German companies sceptical about digitalisation
    European companies are recognising the signs of the times and are increasingly introducing digital processes into their dunning systems. Their expectations of the benefits range from saving time (43 per cent), improved planning of resources (34 per cent), better customer-specific receivables processing (36 per cent) and more automated processes (36 per cent). With the exception of Germany, where only 33 per cent of companies believe digital processes improve outcomes. Across Europe, on the other hand, every second company is confident that a modernised dunning process further reduces payment delays.

    Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group, conjectures: ‘One of the reasons for the scepticism may be that German companies have the lowest rate of payment defaults and so do not see the need to change their collection processes’. But Engberding cautions against continuing to neglect the digitalisation of the dunning system. ‘Companies have to open their eyes to the necessity of digitalisation so they do not fall behind and give money away’.


    About the EOS survey: ‘European Payment Practices’
    In the spring of 2017, in partnership with independent market research institute Kantar TNS (formerly TNS Infratest), EOS surveyed 3,200 companies in 16 European nations about the prevailing payment practices in their respective countries. 200 companies in each of the countries Germany, UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Romania, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland, Russia and Greece answered questions about their own payment experiences, economic developments in their countries and issues relating to risk and receivables management. Further results from the survey can be found online:
    https://www.eos-solutions.com/surveys


    The EOS Group
    The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customised financial services. Its main focus is on receivables management covering three key business segments: fiduciary collection, debt purchase and business process outsourcing. With around 7,000 employees and more than 55 subsidiaries, EOS offers some 20,000 clients in 26 countries around the world financial security with tailored services in the B2C and B2B segments. Being connected to an international network of partner companies, the EOS Group has access to resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities and telecommunications, along with the public sector, real estate, mail order and e-commerce.
    For more information please visit: www.eos-solutions.com.

    Print
  • Hamburg. The Greek economy is still Europe's underachiever. As recently as this July, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that it would be supporting Greece with another EUR 1.6 billion; however the situation remains precarious in respect of payment defaults. Because in many cases, Greek companies are not able to absorb the resulting hole in their budget. The result is potential insolvency. In a total of 28 per cent of the Greek companies polled, payment delays and defaults put the company's viability in jeopardy – in no other country in Europe is this correlation so strong. In Western Europe, British companies in particular are struggling with the impact of late and unrecoverable payments. As a result, almost every fourth company in the United Kingdom (24 per cent) has to fear for its very existence. These are some of the findings of the EOS survey ‘European Payment Practices’ 2017, which was conducted this year for the tenth time (by Kantar TNS, formerly TNS Infratest).

    Countries in crisis – but no widespread pessimism
    In Eastern Europe, Bulgarian companies are also having difficulty in absorbing payment defaults which jeopardise the survival of nearly one in four companies (24 per cent). On average, 17 per cent of Eastern European companies are at risk of bankruptcy as a result of outstanding payments by customers.

    At the same time, the EOS survey shows that the crisis-ridden companies have different views of the future. In Greece, the mood in companies tends to be optimistic, as it was in 2016: 29 per cent (2016: 33 per cent) still expect the payment practices of their customers to improve in the next two years. ‘In this context it is interesting to observe the spirit of optimism in Greece. Fortified by intensive support from Europe for some considerable time, there is a positive mood in the country despite the weak economy’, says Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group.

    Things look very different in the UK, where pessimistic voices are on the increase. Whereas in the previous year, only 12 per cent of the companies polled assumed that payment practices would get worse, a total of 19 per cent hold this view in 2017. ‘Brexit has hit the British economy hard. This is reflected in the weak increase in GDP in the first two quarters and the moderate growth forecast by the International Monetary Fund for 2018’, continues Engberding.

    German companies the most stable
    In Western Europe too, payment defaults represent a threat to the viability of many companies. Alongside British firms, French (22 per cent) and Spanish companies (21 per cent) in particular are battling against these consequences. The situation is different in Germany, where companies are better equipped to absorb outstanding payments. Because although in 17 per cent of all cases payments are made late or not at all, only two per cent of all companies see this as a threat to their existence.
    ‘Companies need to be able to compensate for payment defaults. Otherwise they will quickly be paralysed by their own insolvency’, explains Engberding. ‘Working with a professional receivables management provider really can pay, in the truest sense of the word. In addition, companies can focus fully on their core business and do not have to invest any resources in additional expertise.’


    About the EOS survey: ‘European Payment Practices’
    In the spring of 2017, in partnership with independent market research institute Kantar TNS (formerly TNS Infratest), EOS surveyed 3,200 companies in 16 European nations about the prevailing payment practices in their respective countries. 200 companies in each of the countries Germany, UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Romania, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland, Russia and Greece answered questions about their own payment experiences, economic developments in their countries and issues relating to risk and receivables management. Further results from the survey can be found online: https://www.eos-solutions.com/surveys

    The EOS Group
    The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customised financial services. Its main focus is on receivables management covering three key business segments: fiduciary collection, debt purchase and business process outsourcing. With around 7,000 employees and more than 55 subsidiaries, EOS offers some 20,000 clients in 26 countries around the world financial security with tailored services in the B2C and B2B segments. Being connected to an international network of partner companies, the EOS Group has access to resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities and telecommunications, along with the public sector, real estate, mail order and e-commerce.
    For more information please visit: www.eos-solutions.com.

    Print
  • Hamburg. With short payment terms consumers often feel that their hands are tied. But these short deadlines actually do help, because the saying ‘Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today’ also applies to paying your bills. The longer a customer has to pay the more likely they are to get into arrears. This results in late fees for the consumer and outstanding payments for the company. European companies are responding accordingly to this correlation: Compared with the previous year, customers in the B2C and B2B segments have a day less to settle their invoices on time (2017: 35 days, 2016: 36 days). Those 24 hours help achieve more consistent punctuality of payments. In the B2C segment, the punctuality rate was 80 per cent in 2017 (2016: 79 per cent), while B2B customers pay 77 per cent of invoices on time (2016: 76 per cent).  These are some of the findings of the EOS survey ‘European Payment Practices’ 2017, which was conducted this year for the tenth time (by Kantar TNS, formerly TNS Infratest).


    The fine line between retaining customers and achieving good payment practices
    'From 2015 to 2016, companies in Europe extended their payment terms. Immediately, a slight deterioration in on-time payments was identified. Currently, companies are revising the terms down again', says Klaus Engberding, CEO of the Hamburg-based EOS Group. 'We are talking about a very fine line here. If payment deadlines are too short customers can be scared off', he adds. 'This is why companies are proceeding with caution and are implementing only very moderate reductions of the terms granted from year to year'.

    Germany benefits from the most punctual payments
    In Western Europe the payment terms are shorter than in Eastern Europe. On average, Western European customers have 33 days to pay their invoices, and the late payment rate is 19 per cent. The country with the shortest payment terms is Germany, which prescribes 24 days on average. Only 17 per cent of customers do not meet this payment deadline. Other countries such as the UK allow much longer time frames of 34 days on average. But the UK also sees a higher proportion of overdue payments (22 per cent).

    Eastern Europe: lots of patience means a lot of payment delays
    In Eastern Europe in particular, companies offer their customers long payment terms. In this region, customers have 37 days on average to settle their invoices, while business customers have as much as 40 days. In 25 per cent of cases, however, customers pay late or do not pay at all. Last year the average payment term was still 38 days and payment delays or defaults stood at 26 per cent. Among the countries substantially cutting their payment terms this year are Romania (2017: 37 days, 2016: 39 days) and Slovakia (2017: 36 days, 2016: 38 days). The correlation between long payment terms and resulting payment delays is most evident in Greece, where customers have an average of 47 days to pay their bills. Despite this, more than a quarter of them (26 per cent) pay too late.

    About the EOS survey: ‘European Payment Practices’
    In the spring of 2017, in partnership with independent market research institute Kantar TNS (formerly TNS Infratest), EOS surveyed 3,200 companies in 16 European nations about the prevailing payment practices in their respective countries. 200 companies in each of the countries Germany, UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Romania, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland, Russia and Greece answered questions about their own payment experiences, economic developments in their countries and issues relating to risk and receivables management. Further results from the survey can be found online: https://de.eos-solutions.com/en/press/surveys.html


    The EOS Group
    The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customised financial services. Its main focus is on receivables management covering three key business segments: fiduciary collection, debt purchase and business process outsourcing. With around 7,000 employees and more than 55 subsidiaries, EOS offers some 20,000 clients in 26 countries around the world financial security with tailored services in the B2C and B2B segments. Being connected to an international network of partner companies, the EOS Group has access to resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities and telecommunications, along with the public sector, real estate, mail order and e-commerce.
    For more information please visit: www.eos-solutions.com.

    Print
  • Hamburg. In Europe, personal predicaments continue to be the main reason for payment delays and defaults. Most customers who fall behind with payments have a short-term cash flow problem (66 per cent) or excessive debt, or have declared themselves bankrupt (52 per cent). This is one of the findings of the EOS survey ‘European Payment Practices’ 2017, which was conducted this year for the tenth time (Kantar TNS, formerly TNS Infratest).

    However, the percentage is surprisingly high in the case of what is an avoidable problem: 49 per cent of the companies polled believe that their customers pay late or don't pay at all due to sheer forgetfulness. Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group, takes a differentiated view: 'We basically assume that the majority of consumers would like to pay their bills on time, but often simply cannot due to short-term or long-term problems. If the fridge breaks down for example, or the car that you need for your daily journey to work, then these purchases take priority. Other bills then have to be paid a little later if possible, and so they get forgotten. What is worrying, on the other hand, is when customers are intentionally not paying their invoices – because that is fraud.’

    Wilful intent as a reason for unpaid bills is not uncommon throughout Europe: 38 per cent of the European companies surveyed complain about wilful non-payment in the B2C segment, while in the B2B segment the figure is 34 per cent. Anyone who deliberately ignores their invoices is liable to prosecution: 'Intentional non-payment – for example when buying on account online or deliberately deferring payment instalments – meets the criteria for the crime of fraud and is not a trivial offence', explains the CEO.

    Germany has lowest incidence of wilful non-payment / More common in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe
    Only 10 per cent of companies in the Federal Republic complain about wilful non-payment in the B2C segment. At European level, Eastern European companies are much more likely than Western European firms to complain that consumers deliberately do not pay their bills. A total of 41 per cent regard themselves as having been fraudulently deprived of revenue (34 per cent in Western Europe). At the bottom of the rankings in this respect are Romania (50 per cent), Greece (45 per cent) and the Czech Republic (42 per cent). In Western Europe, Belgian (43 per cent), Austrian (41 per cent) and French companies (40 per cent) report the highest numbers of deliberate non-payers.

    About the EOS survey: ‘European Payment Practices’
    In the spring of 2017, in partnership with independent market research institute Kantar TNS (formerly TNS Infratest), EOS surveyed 3,200 companies in 16 European nations about the prevailing payment practices in their respective countries. 200 companies in each of the countries Germany, UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Romania, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland, Russia and Greece answered questions about their own payment experiences, economic developments in their countries and issues relating to risk and receivables management. Further results from the survey can be found online at: https://de.eos-solutions.com/en/press/surveys.html

    The EOS Group
    The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customised financial services. Its main focus is on receivables management covering three key business segments: fiduciary collection, debt purchase and business process outsourcing. With around 7,000 employees and more than 55 subsidiaries, EOS offers some 20,000 clients in 26 countries around the world financial security with tailored services in the B2C and B2B segments. Being connected to an international network of partner companies, the EOS Group has access to resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities and telecommunications, along with the public sector, real estate, mail order and e-commerce.
    For more information please visit: www.eos-solutions.com.

    Print
  • Hamburg. Minor cause, major effect: At 29 per cent of the European companies polled, errors of form in invoice handling are already resulting in payment delays and defaults by customers. This is one of the findings of the EOS survey ‘European Payment Practices’ 2017, which was conducted this year for the tenth time. Accordingly, an invoice issued too late is just as likely to lead to serious problems as errors such as an incorrect address or the failure to adhere to formal guidelines. ‘Companies are regularly giving away their money because they have not organised their invoicing processes efficiently', says Klaus Engberding, CEO of the Hamburg-based EOS Group.

    But even a perfectly organised invoicing process may not be enough. Companies will need to call in professional receivables management services if their customers still do not pay. In this context, the companies' failings are not just isolated incidents but systemic problems. In some cases there are no standardised processes whatsoever for recovering non-performing receivables. ‘It is striking that the professionalism is actually continuing to decline', Engberding notes. The number of companies admitting to this in the survey has doubled. In 2017, eight per cent of the companies polled stated that they did not have a standardised receivables management. This is up from four per cent in 2016. ‘The work involved in processing non-performing receivables is often underestimated', says the CEO. ‘It calls for a lot of expertise and ties up personnel'. This is why working with debt collection companies is often more expedient than in-house processes. ‘The specialists handle professional receivables management so that companies can concentrate on their core business'.

    Western Europe: German companies the masters of diligence
    As the survey shows, Germany has the most professional organisation of receivables management. In the B2B segment, only two per cent of the companies surveyed said that they did not have any standardised processes for recovering outstanding debts. This was true of four per cent of companies in the B2C segment. French and British firms in particular are facing major challenges. In both countries, 13 per cent of companies do not have any defined organisational structures for recovering outstanding debts from consumers. In the B2B segment, there is also work to be done in the UK, where ten per cent of companies do not have any standardised receivables management.

    Eastern Europe's ‘underachievers’
    A lack of proper procedures for payment collection is most prevalent in Eastern Europe. In the B2C segment, companies in Greece (15 per cent), Hungary and Slovakia (each 14 per cent) in particular are battling this problem. In the B2B segment, companies in Greece, Slovakia and Russia (9 per cent each), are at the bottom of the rankings in this respect.

    About the EOS survey: ‘European Payment Practices’
    In the spring of 2017, in partnership with independent market research institute Kantar TNS (formerly TNS Infratest), EOS surveyed 3,200 companies in 16 European nations about the prevailing payment practices in their respective countries. 200 companies in each of the countries Germany, UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Romania, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland, Russia and Greece answered questions about their own payment experiences, economic developments in their countries and issues relating to risk and receivables management. Further results from the survey can be found online at:
    https://de.eos-solutions.com/en/press/surveys

    The EOS Group
    The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customised financial services. Its main focus is on receivables management covering three key business segments: fiduciary collection, debt purchase and business process outsourcing. With around 7,000 employees and more than 55 subsidiaries, EOS offers some 20,000 clients in 26 countries around the world financial security with tailored services in the B2C and B2B segments. Being connected to an international network of partner companies, the EOS Group has access to resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities and telecommunications, along with the public sector, real estate, mail order and e-commerce. For more information please visit: www.eos-solutions.com.

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  • Hamburg. Even just one unpaid invoice leaves its mark on a company, let alone hundreds of thousands: For the companies involved these losses can in some cases run into the millions. Just under half of the companies surveyed reported profit setbacks (46 per cent). Other consequences they have to deal with include cash flow problems (39 per cent) and higher interest costs (34 per cent). As a result, the companies lack the money to grow. Across Europe, every fourth company (25 per cent) is therefore curbing its investments. Some companies (17 per cent) are even fighting to survive due to outstanding payments. These are the results of the representative EOS survey ‘European Payment Practices’ 2017 that is being published for the 10th time this year. A total of 3,200 companies took part in the survey conducted by Kantar TNS (formerly TNS Infratest) in the spring.

    Eastern Europe: Strong brake on investment
    In Eastern European countries in particular, payment delays and defaults are putting a brake on investments. In Greece, 39 per cent of firms are currently cutting back on investments, while in Hungary and Croatia, almost every third company is curbing investment. But in the Czech Republic and Poland, only 18 per cent of business owners feel compelled to do so.

    Few investment cutbacks in Germany
    Despite payment defaults and delays, German companies continue to bank on growth. Only seven per cent of the companies surveyed are investing less. The situation is different in the UK and Spain, where every third company is scaling back its investment volume (34 and 33 per cent respectively). Belgium has the highest percentage of companies reducing investments (28 per cent).

    Klaus Engberding ‘Debt collection counteracts the investment freeze’
    'The level of investment is an important indicator for the growth of a company – and therefore also for the entire economy’, explains Klaus Engberding, CEO of the Hamburg-based EOS Group. 'Numerous factors are considered in the investment decision – but above all you need the financial resources. So missing payments from customers are very painful, especially for SMEs that do not have the backing of financially strong shareholders. But there is a lot that even SMEs can do, particularly against payment defaults and delays.’ For Klaus Engberding, working with debt collection companies is an important method of countering a freeze on investment. Last year, debt collection service providers across Europe secured 8 per cent of company revenue.

    About the EOS survey: ‘European Payment Practices’
    In the spring of 2017, in partnership with independent market research institute Kantar TNS (formerly TNS Infratest), EOS surveyed 3,200 companies in 16 European nations about the prevailing payment practices in their respective countries. 200 companies in each of the countries Germany, UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Romania, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland, Russia and Greece answered questions about their own payment experiences, economic developments in their countries and issues relating to risk and receivables management. Further results from the survey can be found online at: https://de.eos-solutions.com/en/press/surveys

    The EOS Group
    The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customised financial services. Its main focus is on receivables management covering three key business segments: fiduciary collection, debt purchase and business process outsourcing. With around 7,000 employees and more than 55 subsidiaries, EOS offers some 20,000 clients in 26 countries around the world financial security with tailored services in the B2C and B2B segments. Being connected to an international network of partner companies, the EOS Group has access to resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities and telecommunications, along with the public sector, real estate, mail order and e-commerce.
    For more information please visit: www.eos-solutions.com.

    Print
  • Hamburg. Because of payment delays on the part of its customers, a company with an annual turnover of EUR 10 million has to wait for a long time on a sum of around EUR 1.9 million, while EUR 300,000 are completely unrecoverable (19 percent of all invoices in Europe are paid late and three percent are not paid at all). Ultimately, the consequences affect not only the defaulting payers themselves, but all consumers: Every fifth European company (20 percent) reacts to these kinds of payment delays and defaults by cutting jobs and freezing recruitment. Roughly just as many (21 percent) increase their prices – and so the boomerang effect begins. This is one of the findings of the representative EOS Survey ‘European Payment Practices’ 2017, which was conducted this year for the tenth time. In spring this year, independent market research institute Kantar TNS polled 3,200 corporate decision-makers from 16 European countries.

    Price increases most frequent in Eastern Europe
    In Eastern Europe in particular, companies react to payment delays or defaults by raising prices. This is most common in Hungary (32 percent), followed by Croatia (30 percent). In Western Europe, British firms are the most likely to increase their prices (26 percent). Only Switzerland comes close (24 percent). In Germany, on the other hand, the response is muted: only four percent of companies react to payment delays and defaults by raising prices.

    Hiring policy: Germany reacts calmly – Greece takes drastic measures
    In respect of a recruitment freeze or job cuts, Greece exhibits the strongest reaction in Europe to payment delays and defaults: in 31 percent of companies polled in Greece, payment defaults impacted on hiring policies. The UK is only slightly behind (29 percent). Romania and Spain are in third place (at 27 percent each). By way of comparison: In Germany, only 6 percent of companies take steps to reduce personnel.

    ‘Many people are not even aware of the consequences of late or unrecoverable payments. We would like to educate people about this and about the importance of debt collection’, says Klaus Engberding, CEO of the Hamburg-based EOS Group. ‘Debt collecting often has a cliché-ridden, negative image among the public. The role it plays in the economy is generally not visible, although this is something that the consumer benefits substantially from. Because the liquidity restored to a company as a result of debt recovery helps it to avoid increasing prices or cutting back jobs.’

    About the EOS survey: ‘European Payment Practices’
    In the spring of 2017, in partnership with the independent market research institute Kantar TNS, EOS polled 3,200 companies in 16 European nations about the prevailing payment practices in their respective countries. 200 companies in each of the countries Germany, UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Russia, Greece and Romania answered questions about their own payment experiences, economic developments in their countries and issues relating to risk and receivables management. Further results from the survey can be found online at: https://de.eos-solutions.com/en/press/surveys
    The EOS Group
    The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customised financial services. Its main focus is on receivables management covering three key business segments: fiduciary collection, debt purchase and business process outsourcing. With around 7,000 employees and more than 55 subsidiaries, EOS offers some 20,000 clients in 26 countries around the world financial security with tailored services in the B2C and B2B segments. Being connected to an international network of partner companies, the EOS Group has access to resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities and telecommunications, along with the public sector, real estate, mail order and e-commerce.
    For more information please visit: www.eos-solutions.com.

    Print
  • Hamburg. In Europe, 19 percent of customers pay their invoices late – and three percent do not pay them at all. The resulting loss of revenue can have serious consequences: no less than 17 percent of companies worry about going bankrupt. This means that debt collection services are all the more important to them: A total of 41 percent of the European companies polled work regularly with debt collection providers. Last year these debt collection professionals recovered eight percent of outstanding company revenue. This is the result of the representative EOS Survey ‘European Payment Practices’ 2017, which was conducted this year for the tenth time.

    East-West comparison: Who secures more revenue?
    In Eastern Europe it is mainly Romanian companies that benefit from working with debt collection providers. Every year, collaboration with receivables management specialists returns a total of 13 percent of revenue to the companies. In both Croatia (12 percent) and the Czech Republic (11 percent) debt collection providers have recovered more than ten percent of company revenue. In Western Europe, German companies in particular enjoy the benefits of working with debt collection providers, with an eight percent share of revenue being returned to companies as a result of receivables management services.

    Effective use of receivables management
    Most companies use the payments recovered through receivables management to settle outstanding invoices (58 percent), while 44 percent of the companies invest the money in creating new jobs and safeguarding existing jobs. This means that debt collection providers contribute to the stability of the job market. In addition, the resources recovered go into expanding business segments (37 percent), R&D (28 percent) and investing in the financial markets (25 percent).

    Valuable business service
    ‘Outstanding payments are a risk to companies. Firms should work with debt collection specialists in good time, as it enables them to focus on their core business, while their liquidity is safeguarded by professional receivables management’, explains Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group.

    About the EOS survey: ‘European Payment Practices’
    In the spring of 2017, in partnership with the independent market research institute Kantar TNS, EOS polled 3,200 companies in 16 European nations about the prevailing payment practices in their respective countries. 200 companies in each of the countries Germany, UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Russia, Greece and Romania answered questions about their own payment experiences, economic developments in their countries and issues relating to risk and receivables management.

    We are happy to send you details of the survey results on request. Simply email presse@eos-solutions.com. Information on the survey is also available online: https://de.eos-solutions.com/en/press/surveys

    The EOS Group
    The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customised financial services. Its main focus is on receivables management covering three key business segments: fiduciary collection, debt purchase and business process outsourcing. With around 7,000 employees and more than 55 subsidiaries, EOS offers some 20,000 clients in 26 countries around the world financial security with tailored services in the B2C and B2B segments. Being connected to an international network of partner companies, the EOS Group has access to resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities and telecommunications, along with the public sector, real estate, mail order and e-commerce.
    For more information please visit: www.eos-solutions.com.

    Print
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