Technology is the key to improving debt collection

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Technology is the key to improving debt collection

The use of technology in the real estate services sector has revolutionized the way financial institutions and non-performing portfolios of funds are managed and operated, and its potential is high. This is one of the main conclusions of the Observatory leading the Real Estate Servicing Panorama, organized by elEconomista.es in collaboration with Qualco.

As an example, the experts gathered at the meeting gave an explanation Technology improves the customer experience, protects sensitive data and plays an important role in debt collection and debt management strategies. Regarding the current state of the sector, the managers of the main companies in the sector agreed that the industry is going through a phase of maturity, consolidating itself into a fundamental part of the Spanish real estate market.


Although the volume of activity was sluggish last year, 2024 is shaping up to be A year on “opportunities”, especially in the NPLs (Non-Performing Loans) segment, which continues to be a ‘weight’ on the balance sheets of financial institutions and funds. Experts confirmed that the type of assets coming to the market has changed (there is a greater preference for RPLs -Reperforming Loans) and the size of portfolios has also changed and become smaller. All this happens in an environment Greater economic certaintyInterest rates at high levels, but slowly, and the “inclusive” default rate, still slightly higher than the European average.


Another topic to be discussed is the future regulation of service providers. According to executives, The regulation marks a turning point, and lead to concentration in the currently highly fragmented sector. The draft bill on credit administrators and buyers, currently in the process of public participation, provides greater protection for financial consumers, especially the most vulnerable, and makes it easier for companies to sell their credit portfolios. Improves its credit.


Something


Technology is the basis of debt collection and management operations, and its implementation allows service providers to adapt to the evolution of the ever-changing market, improve processes and adapt to the needs of each customer. “We need to choose robust, flexible and configurable tools that give the customer freedom, while also having strong support.” said Jesús Alarcon, Qualcomm’s regional sales ambassador during the meeting. Currently, companies use “a very large number of tools” and it is advisable to “concentrate them” to use them more appropriately and efficiently, the manager explained. The same.

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“I know it’s scary for practice teams to outsource technology services, moving from one system to another, but if companies see the benefit of managing one or two robust tools, they’ll be quick to take action.” In this context, artificial intelligence (AI) plays a fundamental role, which has accelerated the transformation of the sector in recent years and helps improve and streamline debt collection processes.


The head of fintech solutions provider Qualcomm, founded in Athens in 1999, also points to the future servicer law, which will “affect many market players” and spur the concentration of firms. “A lot of activity has gone down, but I believe there will be a concentration of service providers that will lead to fewer competitors in the market this year or next,” he said. In his opinion, regulation can be coordinated at the European level. “The trend is looking in that direction,” he said.


Deutsche Bank


A decade ago, Deutsche Bank looked at the Spanish market, which at the time offered developers “a great opportunity” with more than 300,000 million in bank loans. Now, years later, the market is “drained” in terms of volumes, and confirmed as a A “very” mature market in the NPL segment (Non-Performing Loans) and all assets previously known as toxic. “Operators have a lot of experience and best practices are already in place,” commented Jesus Medina Muno, co-head of financial coverage at Deutsche Bank Southern Europe, during the forum.


For the manager, the national market provides a certain “comfort” when investing, so “the interest will continue.” Medina pointed to October 2023 as the moment when international markets rebound, adding, “From there, the risks recede and we’re at pre-Covid-19 levels.” Now, despite greater economic certainty, interest rates remain high, which “slightly affects prices” and financing.


On the future change of the European directive that the government will act to regulate the activity of servicers, the head of Deutsche Bank was convinced that “it will improve the coverage of the sector”. Finally, he also mentioned promoter risk, which is “a certain concentration and still in the hands of secondary funds.”


Raised


2024 is “a year full of opportunities,” according to Pablo Reykatas, director of business development at Tiglo, a servicer for Banco Santander. The manager affirmed that the market shape is changing and moving towards greater segmentation in the sale of portfolios. New Investor Profile. “The sale of large portfolios with thousands of assets is avoided; instead, there are small ones of 20 or 30 million euros, which are important weight in the market and suitable for servicers,” he explained.

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“At Diglo we want to join that wave, we are growing at a very good moment. We believe that this year we will be able to meet our objectives and achieve that privileged position we have in the market and stability,” the company manager added. Regarding the impact of higher interest rates on the service sector, Reigadas admitted that they have reduced conditional financing, prices and transactions, but at the same time highlighted that the impact is less than initially expected.


“Despite very rapid and violent increases, everything remains stable. Although we are now in a downward process, we must learn to live in a situation of higher rates than ten years ago. “In this context, the manager highlighted the elasticity of the real estate market, with house prices at high values. “Prices being so high gives families stability and security, they feel they have an important cushion behind them. Now, The day the price falls and the sector collapses will be a disaster” warned the manager.


Respect


Specialization, Diversification and Segmentation. Credit recovery management pivots on these three pillars, according to Patricia García Barrios, bank asset manager at doValue in Spain. In this process, the contribution of artificial intelligence (AI) plays a very important role, which reduces recovery times and operating costs, personalizes the customer experience and, among other things, determines which channel is best suited to manage each product.


“Using AI is important because it makes the process more efficient, reduces costs, improves service quality and creates end-customer satisfaction at the financial and banking level,” he opined. Precisely, García Barrios emphasized the importance of putting the customer at the center and not losing sight of what they need. He also emphasized that it is important to work as soon as possible with credits that show signs of problems, because “this way the chances of success are higher.”


Regarding ICO-Covid loans, the CEO of the doValue service explained that his company was able to get one out of every two loans paid; This was possible because they worked “early, proactively and in the right channel”. Regarding future regulation, García Barrios indicated that a concentration will occur. “Younger children may have more difficulties adapting to the demands of EBA. “It’s a natural movement towards those who are willing to meet expectations for accommodation,” he concluded.

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EOS Spain


The service sector is in a phase of consolidation and maturity, and although transactions are far from the levels reached in 2018 and 2019, the Spanish market remains active and generating interest. “The first semester is better than expected. Companies will continue to put products on sale and we will help them manage their main products. We have to get rid of the 75,000 million of non-performing loans that companies continue to have. ,” commented Jorge Ortega , managing director EOS Spain, who is “more confident in the stability of the market There is also hope,” he said. As for technology, Ortega emphasized that its use is not optional, but “an obligation.”


Krug Spain


“We’re in a field with tremendous, tremendous potential.” This is the opinion of Eduardo Alonso Fernández, business developer in charge of Kruk España, a Polish debt recovery company. He affirmed that the industry is immersed in the process of change with the controversial housing law and above all, much to do. That’s all, future regulation of servers. “We believe there will be a special, strategic shift in many companies.” Alonso also highlighted his company’s commitment to technology. “We’re investing a lot in technology, but also in people, at the manager level. We’re committed to the end customer and the problem borrower, and we’re here to help them,” he said.


Now


Expertise sets the curriculum for the service sector. That’s the view of Manuel Enrich, chief investor relations officer at Ahora Asset Management, a real estate servicer that specializes in residential and dispersed problem properties, NPLs, or REOs. “The success of the model we’re defending is based on expertise. We’re a small backend of what other servicers are 2% or 3% of their business, and we’re going to continue to explore that,” explained the manager. . As for the state of the market, Enrich confirmed that it has regained its momentum this year – after a “disastrous” 2023. And recalled that 150,000 million toxic assets could enter the market.




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