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  • Hamburg. Nine out of ten Germans feel bad if they cannot repay their debts. What is more, they feel much more obliged to pay back debts to relatives and friends than to an online retailer, for example. Just three percent of those polled would settle their bills with online sellers first. The 'EOS Debt Survey' 2017 shows that there are great discrepancies in the way Russians and US Americans feel about debt. In a representative online survey, financial services provider EOS and social research institute forsa compared the attitudes to debt of people in Germany, Russia and the USA.

    Little sense of obligation to repay online shopping debts
    29 per cent of Germans feel the strongest obligation to pay back debt to relatives, 28 per cent to friends or colleagues, and 26 per cent to a bank. Only six per cent feel the same kind of obligation towards a bricks-and-mortar store or service provider, and as little as 3 per cent towards online shops. 39 per cent of Germans would pay debts from internet shopping last. 'Especially in the context of Christmas trading, this is an important insight for retailers that sell their products online. It is therefore recommended that they establish a personal relationship as close as possible with the buyer, to keep the number of payment defaults to a minimum,' says Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group.

    'Personal debts' are an emotional burden
    At the same time, 91 per cent of Germans feel bad if they cannot settle debts. 'For Germans, finances are a very personal matter, so they generally find debts to be a burden. From our own experience, however, we also know that they generally try very hard to find a solution, if on occasion they don't have enough money to pay back debts,' says Klaus Engberding about the results of the EOS Debt Survey 2017.

    Different countries, different attitudes to debt
    Unlike Germans, only around three-quarters of people in Russia and the USA feel bad if they cannot pay back their debts. In those countries, the sense of obligation towards creditors known personally to the debtor is also lower: For example, 60 per cent of Russians and 48 per cent of US Americans would pay back debts to a bank first. In Russia only 13 per cent of people and in the USA 18 per cent have the strongest sense of obligation to pay back debts to relatives, on the other hand.


    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.

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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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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: 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.

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  • 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: 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.

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  • 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://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.

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  • 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: 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.

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  • 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:
    ( Verlinkung nachtragen: www.eos-solutions.com/paymentpractices2017/invoicingprocesses)

    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. For the financial year 2016/17, Hamburg-based EOS Consolidated is reporting an exceptionally good result: At 195.4 million euros, its EBT (earnings before tax) is well above the previous year's total. The debt collection specialist has also significantly increased its sales to 663.8 million euros.

    This success is all the more remarkable given that the competitive pressures are growing: 'Due to expansionary monetary policy, numerous competitors with a lot of capital are swamping the market. Nevertheless we have held our ground very well, particularly in the receivables purchasing segment', says Klaus Engberding, Chairman of the EOS Group’s Board of Directors. EOS Consolidated has substantially increased its investment in this sector. ‘Our expertise in analysing, acquiring and processing non-performing debt portfolios is acknowledged and valued in the industry’, he continues.

    However, EOS was not going to be resting on its laurels. 'Our focus is on the future. For example, we want to further increase our efficiency and therefore are putting even more emphasis than before on data-driven management of debt collection processes.' At 90 million euros, EOS Consolidated is making its largest investment ever in IT systems.

    'We are not just investing in bits and bytes but also in people. To make the best possible use of the opportunities afforded by digitalisation, we need the right mindset’, says Mr Engberding. This is why the Group has initiated a comprehensive change process: 'With our Cultural Journey@EOS we are defining how we are going to be working together in the future and to what end. It is a process that will involve our entire workforce of around 7,000 people worldwide'.

    Overview of key performance indicators:

    2016/17
    Sales revenue (MEUR): 663.8
    EBITDA (MEUR): 222.6
    EBT (MEUR): 195.4

    2015/16
    Sales revenue (MEUR): 596.1
    EBITDA (MEUR): 173.8
    EBT (MEUR): 181.4

    With a 46 per cent share of revenue, Germany remains the company's most important regional market. Compared with the previous year, it grew by 11.1 per cent to 305.5 million euros. Developments in Western Europe were very gratifying, with sales revenue up 33.5 per cent to 164.2 million euros. One reason for this is the strong increase in investments in receivables purchases, for example in France and Belgium.

    In Eastern Europe, sales revenue rose by 21.5 per cent to 131.4 million euros. This is the highest level in the region in the history of the EOS Group to date. The much higher revenue from receivables purchases in Croatia and Hungary made a significant contribution to this pleasing result. In North America, sales revenue fell to 59.5 million euros. This is attributable above all to the downturn in receivables management for government-issued student loans.

     

    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. For the thirteenth time in succession, the auditors from Euler Hermes Rating have awarded EOS Holding an 'A' rating, acknowledging that the debt collection specialist enjoys a good credit standing and long-term viability. The key factors leading to this assessment were the company's excellent earning power over a number of years as well as its good debt repayment capacity and equity base.

    Among the reasons for the rating the auditors cited in particular the long-standing experience of EOS in evaluating, acquiring and recovering non-performing receivables. 'Although we are currently experiencing a fiercely fought market we are consistently demonstrating that the acquisition of debt portfolios is our core area of expertise,' says Justus Hecking-Veltman, CEO and CFO of the EOS Group.

    The auditors also commented on the competitive situation: ‘Due to the higher prices for unsecured receivables, we expect that there will be an ever increasing proportion of investments in mortgage-backed receivables.’ EOS has expanded this business area in recent years and is now also offering this service in several countries in Eastern and Western Europe. 'In this context we benefit from the expertise that we have been building up in Germany for a long time,' says Hecking-Veltman.

    To stay competitive and maintain its technological leadership, the EOS Group is also making major investments in its IT systems. 'We are placing even more emphasis on data-driven management of collection processes.'

    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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