16th September, 2020 — Collectius, the leading Singapore-based pan-Asian pioneer in debt management have partnered with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to launch a US$60 million regional investment platform solely dedicated to acquiring and resolving unsecured debt in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and soon Vietnam. IFC has also become a minority equity shareholder in Collectius, at a post money valuation of US$80 million, taking the company’s total capital raised to USD$123 million over six years.
Entrusted by major banks and financial institutions, Collectius continues to reinforce its position as the preferred debt purchaser of consumer NPLs in the ASEAN region, employing fintech and innovation to build additional servicing capacity.
The new initiative is IFC’s first in Asia and aims to sustain the financial stability of the economy by supporting regional banks to strengthen their balance sheets by outsourcing the management of their NPLs, assisting debtors with their credit requirements and rehabilitating the debtor’s financial position. The collaborative IFC and Collectius NPL platform is expected to operate as a model for other investors, by way of demonstration and replication channels, and increase market competitiveness and integration.
Founded with a people-first mentality, the business utilizes data-driven insights and technology tools alongside open dialogue and manageable repayment plans. This has allowed Collectius to grow rapidly and build a reputation for ethical, compliant, and effective processes.
With a shared vision of building and maintaining economic stability in the region, IFC’s commitment as a minority equity shareholder in Collectius aligns with the business’s vision of boosting economic stability, along with their track record of successful conversions and accelerated expansion. Collectius will also work with IFC to further to improve the regulation and resolution around debt collection and NPL work outs.
Gustav A. Eriksson, Founder and CEO, Collectius expressed: “This is a momentous milestone in our journey as a company, and we are extremely proud to partner with IFC. The partnership strengthens our influence in the market and the capital increase means we can further support banks and finance companies that want to sell their NPL portfolios. Most importantly, the new platform allows us to not only assist individuals struggling with debt, but also move the industry towards higher standards in ethics and regulations.
This investment is part of IFC’s strategy to build dynamic secondary debt resolution markets, allowing financial institutions to deal effectively with their NPLs and focus on lending. In addition, IFC investments in this space aim to support credit rehabilitation of defaulted households and businesses to regain access to formal credit. Collectius and IFC are together examining the industry with a view to designing best practices around debt monitoring and resolution, and how this may serve to beneficially affect regulations in Asia.
The post-pandemic economy may restructure the debt collection model in Asia. The economic storm caused by Covid-19 has resulted in a rising global debt load, pushing the world’s economies into financial crisis. In Asia Pacific, S&P Global Ratings predicts regional banking’s non-performing assets and consequent credit losses could rise by US$600 billion and US$300 billion, respectively, in 2020.
Ivar Björklund, Founder and CCO of Collectius, elaborated, “With recessions predicted across ASEAN and banks already impacted by rising NPLs, we are poised and ready to support the market. Our new partners will support our growth not only through funding, but also through their extensive know-how, long-standing institutional experiences, and broad relationships across markets. IFC are leading experts in economic development and impact investment, and this close collaboration will see us accelerating our joint mission of supporting both corporates and consumers to service debt obligations. We have the necessary resources to grow our leadership position in debt management and enact positive change in 2020 and beyond.
Considered the gold standard in debt management all over the world, Collectius employs what it calls the “Collectius way of collections” — one that is rooted in good ethics, compliance with local and international regulations, and a personalized, tailored approach. Collectius also ensures that all customers who undergo its processes end up more financially literate than they were before. They gain knowledge about the accumulation of interest and the different fees and structures that banks and creditors add as a result of an NPL, and fully grasp the advantages of becoming debt-free in the end. In the same way, IFC also seeks to build dynamic secondary debt resolution markets, allowing financial institutions to deal effectively with their NPLs and focus on lending, and individuals to rise out of poverty.