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A Year of Execution

In 2019, we improved operational efficiency and completed several significant acquisitions, while maintaining our focus of helping people keep their commitments.

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Customers first

Hoist Finance’s mission is to help people keep their commitments. Being in financial difficulty can happen to anyone, and during 2019, we have continued to support our customers with setting repayment plans that fit their unique situation and financial capability. Our new vision “By your side” is how we see ourselves fulfilling our mission, by always being by our customers’ side, in how we support them to be included in the financial ecosystem. I frequently listen in on calls with our customers, and I am very proud to say that we have skilled, passionate and professional colleagues, who always find ways to be helpful, understanding and humane. By deploying our core competence, we help people back to financial inclusion. This is a key component of our new sustainability strategy that we have developed as underwriters of UN’s Sustainability Development Goals.

Klaus Anders Nysteen

Focus areas in 2019

Setting a digital agenda was truly a focus area in 2019. We want to offer our customers flexibility to go online, to chat and the ability to be self-sufficient. We have developed an industrialised approach, in order to operate in the same way and deliver the same digital services in all our markets. We took some important first steps in 2019 and at the end of the year about 15 per cent of our customer contacts were digital only, which will continue to increase significantly going forward. To our help we have the chatbot Kai, our new virtual co-worker who is always friendly, a fast learner and works around the clock.

By deploying our core competence, we help people back to financial inclusion

Another important focus area in 2019 was managing the consequences of new regulations. Our industry is well served with regulation to protect customers and investors, as well as society at large. Regulation is important to protect consumers in general, and in many ways helps the industry to become more professional. This also benefits the banks that are divesting non-performing or non-core loans to the debt resolution industry.

Our total operating income was SEK 3,038 million (2,829 in 2018) and profit before tax SEK 748 million (755). The underlying cost control is good, several important actions have been taken and benefits from these initiatives will materialise in 2020 and onwards. I remain confident that we will reach our financial targets. 

To be successful in our industry, you need to have efficient operations and the lowest funding costs. Thanks to our deposit business, we have enjoyed being in pole position on the latter for many years. In order to keep this benefit, we completed the first-ever Italian investment grade rated securitisation, backed by a portfolio of unsecured non-performing loans. Our banking model has been profitable for many years and we continue seeing it as one of our most important competitive advantages.

Major acquisitions

We acquired portfolios for a total of SEK 5,952 million. The acquisitions included the largest portfolio investment ever by Hoist Finance and the first non-performing mortgage portfolio of its size to be sold in France. The portfolio included over 3,500 claims with an outstanding balance of some SEK 3.9 billion. The transaction positions Hoist Finance as the market leader in the French secured NPL segment.

Another major acquisition included the SEK 990 million in assets from Polish debt management and collection company GetBack. Over 95 per cent of the assets were non-performing unsecured consumer loans. As a result, we welcomed and on-boarded about 560,000 new customers in Poland and Hoist Finance is now the second largest debt resolution company in that market.

Our acquisitions, especially in France, demonstrate that the European market has opened up. Driven by regulatory changes, we now see banks divesting loan stocks to a greater extent than previously. These developments go hand in hand with Hoist Finance’s strategy to grow in selected European markets.

Operational excellence will continue to be a priority in 2020, underpinning our capacity to deliver attractive returns going forward, while maintaining our focus of helping people keep their commitments.

Outlook for 2020

Our proven ability to execute on our strategy despite a rather turbulent environment tells me that we are on the right track. We have a strong foundation and organisation, a recovered capital position including a significant extension on the duration of our financing, the industry’s lowest funding costs and the only company in our field with an investment grade rating.

The outlook is more uncertain as a result of the rapid coronavirus development. In the near term we are seeing a temporary pause in the supply of debt portfolios, but in the long run we firmly believe that the market outlook remains positive. We anticipate that banks will continue to divest portfolios and will do so at an earlier stage than historically. The European estimated loan stock has decreased from EUR 1.2 trillion in 2014, to approximately EUR 635 billion in 2019. This is good for the financial eco-system, and I am confident in the market for non-performing loans as all market participants have become more diligent and structured, which has resulted in favourable margin developments over the last year. There is also an increased amount of transactions in the secondary market, both for non-performing loans as well as for performing loans.

Change continues to be the only constant. The best way to deal with change is to make sure that everything we do is firmly grounded in our values and with a clear purpose. I am very proud of having deeply committed employees, working together with a relentless drive towards creating long-term value for our customers and shareholders. In our Great Place to Work® survey in 2019, the feedback from the organisation was the best ever with improvements in all markets and dimensions. In 2019, we launched our leadership programme, Hoist Finance Academy, which fosters a learning environment where our managers can become strong leaders. By investing in our people, we are investing in our future.

If we can offer customers and employees the best experience possible, both in the current challenging times as well as in the long run, I am convinced financial performance will benefit. This is why operational excellence will continue to be a priority in 2020, underpinning our capacity to deliver attractive returns going forward, while maintaining our focus of helping people keep their commitments.

Klaus-Anders Nysteen, CEO

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- Annual Report 2019 -
- Årsredovisning 2019 -