New Collection Opportunities in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean Part 2.

       August 15, 2007    988



This article describes some of Future prospects and opportunities for the international debt collection industry which has been created by the recent global recession.


1. FUTURE PROSPECTS for the collection industry in THE CARIBBEAN


The survival and growth of the collection industry in THE CARIBBEAN in the current environment will present significant challenges: the tough will have to get going; new business will be need to develop more of a �regional presence� as opposed to one which is �national or domestic� only; increased skills training, more efficient cost / expense control, as well as diversification of revenue streams and other forms of structural adjustments will start to have a positive effect on the bottom line. Nevertheless, in my opinion the excess capacities in many sectors will lead to much tighter competition, and this will result in:


2. OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES for the collection industry in THE CARIBBEAN :


Increased mergers and acquisitions to achieve economies of scale; the elimination of weaker players; a greater emphasis on outsourcing of pre-write-off �ledger management services� as against �bad debt recoveries� and more opportunities for debt purchasing of international or regional portfolios of which the Caribbean Barrister at Law � Chairman, A.V. Knowles & Co. Limited Newtown, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad forms a part. There will also be regionalization of credit delinquency database information as a powerful �collection tool� utilizing the �Trinidad� base model, and in this respect an online credit delinquency data base based on verified information, is made accessible to members (without any Privacy Act being in force and has become a recognized force in achieving faster settlements.


3. FUTURE PROSPECTS for the collection industry in CANADA


Opportunities for collection agencies in CANADA will come mainly from the Banking / Credit Card / Distress Lending (Payday Loans) industries as unemployment produces more delinquent customers; credit granters react quickly to potential risk factors; re-financing options for consumers will be further limited because of tighter credit adjudication policies; and more consumers will have to resort to payday lenders for money in order to survive job losses and or income reductions.


4. OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES for the collection industry in CANADA :


Although volumes of assignments in 3rd and 1st party outsource areas will increase, revenues are unlikely to keep pace because collection agencies will be forced to accept more long-term payment arrangements as opposed to immediate payments or settlements due to a fall in consumer income. Access to funds will be restricted following changes to lending policies, and this will make it much more difficult for consumers to qualify. Average size balances will diminish as lenders assign accounts earlier before the balance has a chance to grow. And pressure is applied by clients and/or creditors to reduce commission rates, thereby reducing their recovery costs.


5. FUTURE PROSPECTS for the collection industry in LATIN AMERICA


General Increase in timing and quantum of the default rate is being experienced by creditors due to the debtor�s deteriorating financial condition. As a consequence most collection industry firms will experience visible increases in new account placements from creditor clients. However, such creditor clients will also tend to demand lower and more competitive commission rates in order to reduce their costs of recovery, thereby compensating and attempting to offset their continued losses in this global crisis situation.

6. OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES for the collection industry in LATIN AMERICA


The priority for LATIN AMERICAN agencies will be to implement a much higher degree of flexibility in all of the following areas: accepting more generous compromise settlements, especially in one time lump sum payments.; accepting extended repayment terms with smaller installments suited to each individual debtor; proactively exploring new sources in the BANKING sector willing to focus on Refinancing and consolidation facilities for qualified debtors. Their willingness and commitment to innovation and flexibility will affect their ability to maintain growth in this projected prolonged downturn with adverse economic conditions.

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