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Continued focus on our strategy

We have made significant progress despite a challenging year. Combined with a very promising market ahead, our focus is to deliver attractive returns, while helping people to keep their commitments.

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Significant progress in efficiency

Unprecedented times do not have to imply a change of direction. At Hoist Finance, this year made us speed up digitalisation, welcome new technology and adapt our ways of working. The pandemic did not force us to slow down our ambitions and improvement initiatives. On the contrary, we have continued to make progress on our strategic agenda, and we have not lost sight of our long-term vision and goals. In 2020, we continued to support our customers with setting sustainable payment plans that fit their individual situation and financial capability. We developed new digital solutions and we have received record high engagement scores from our employees. Full year acquisitions were limited, mainly as a result of us focusing on protecting our capital position but also due to sellers being hesitant. This is not the greatest from a short-term profitability point of view, but we are running a long-term business and it means we are ready to participate in a more active 2021. 

CEO statement Klaus-Anders Nysteen

Culture matters

We are proud of being able to ensure business continuity while continuing to pursue our digital agenda. When the pandemic first hit, we were able to completely transform our business by having everyone work from home while maintaining the same high quality of customer support, ensuring the protection of customer information, and staying engaged with our colleagues. We asked people to go the extra mile, but it turned out we had just joined a marathon. It is in times like these when a company’s true values show. I am very proud about the culture we have built in Hoist Finance. The results from the Great Place To Work® survey in 2020 demonstrated that the organisation feels the same. With a response rate of 91 per cent and Trust Index© of 77 per cent, we have moved up 16 percentage points from 2018. It is a significant improvement in all dimensions and markets, which proves that we have done the right things to support our employees during these challenging and uncertain times. 

We have made significant progress in becoming the most effective and efficient operator, and this new organisation is the natural next step to further strengthen our focus on operations and market execution and bring us even closer to our customers.

New business lines

In 2018, we launched our harmonised operating model, One Hoist Finance, with the objective of becoming the most effective and efficient operator in our industry. Through One Hoist Finance, we are creating an integrated business model, enabling us to be a true international company in all operational senses. As of 1 January 2021, we took the next step in our efficiency journey by further expanding across asset classes, widening our service and product portfolio and catalysing our digital aspirations. Three Centres of Excellence, one for each asset class, have become four business lines: Contact Centre Operations, Secured assets, Digital and Retail Banking & Business Development. With a “digital first” strategy for our unsecured non-performing loans (NPLs), the Digital business line will have the end-to-end responsibility for unsecured assets. The Retail Banking business line will continue to house the performing loans assets, as well as be responsible to widen our offering to current customers in line with our strategy. We have made significant progress in becoming the most effective and efficient operator, and this new organisation is the natural next step to further strengthen our focus on operations and market execution and bring us even closer to our customers.

Strategic deployment

In 2020 we proved that we are the digital leader in our industry. We have developed new digital solutions that are coming to life in a more consistent manner across markets. These include products and services such as digital wallet, budgeting tool and benefits tracker. Our digital vision is to create an empowering and educational customer experience through a self-service approach to debt management. We recognise the need to offer our customers the ability to use the channel of their own choice. The digital collections rate at 20 per cent is an all-time high, largely driven by improvements in France, Germany and Poland. Following the 2019 decision to outsource IT infrastructure, we now have a sound, cost effective and future proof IT set up. In 2021, the focus will be on harvesting the benefits of what has been done and continue to deploy new digital developments. 

Our digital vision is to create an empowering and educational customer experience through a self-service approach to debt management. We recognise the need to offer our customers the ability to use the channel of their own choice.

Sustainable business

After having launched our sustainability strategy in early 2020 we have worked relentlessly towards delivering on our annual indicators and long-term goals. All markets have initiated concrete activities and sustainability has been integrated into our core business review process. Other important achievements are partnerships with local social enterprises working towards increased financial inclusion, the establishment of a common customer satisfaction management process and a significant reduction of our carbon footprint, much beyond our target. This vast reduction is largely attributed to Covid-19, which is reflected by more than a 500 per cent increase in digital meetings in 2020. To be truly by our customers’ side, we developed a set of group wide principles for how to support customers affected by Covid-19. This included providing our Customer Contact Representatives with the mandate to adjust a customer's payment plan to pay less or to stop paying for a shorter period of time. We were also by our employees’ side as we provided mental health support and initiated engagement initiatives such as Challengize; a fun health challenge with all 1,600 employees competing across markets.

During the year we initiated external stakeholder dialogues with industry associations, client banks and capital markets participants with the objective to strengthen our relations and to collect information about non-financial aspects that the stakeholders identify as material for us to focus on. Furthermore, Hoist Finance continued to support the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact in the areas of Human Rights, Labour, Environment and Anti-Corruption in 2020.

Ready for 2021

As the events following the pandemic unfolded, we decided to not make any large investments and instead focus on protecting our capital position. The supply of portfolios in the market has also been significantly affected due to the considerable global uncertainties. Industry experts estimate that NPL volumes could potentially double as a result of Covid-19. Hoist Finance plays an important role in the return to a healthy financial market. Helping people stay committed to paying off their debts and re-entering the financial ecosystem is our core business. We are strongly devoted to our amicable approach by arranging sustainable repayment plans that help customers get back on their feet. At the same time, we contribute to upholding fair and stable credit markets. The solutions we offer will become more needed than ever in managing the fallout from the pandemic.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our employees for all the hard work, for living our values and for making sure that we keep helping people keep their commitments and for maintaining the promise to be by your side. 

Klaus-Anders Nysteen, CEO

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- Annual Report 2020 -
- Årsredovisning 2020 -