EXUS Collections & Recovery Blog

Vision 2035: The bold plan to transform Kuwait - and what that means for banks

Posted by Dimitris Vassiliadis on Thu, Jun 06, 2019 @ 12:31 PM

For many years, the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council have followed an oil-based development model. The black stuff has been, as LSE economist Sophie Olver-Ellis put it, the "elixir of life" for many of the region's economies.

This has been particularly true for Kuwait. Oil has transformed this small nation on the Arabian Peninsula from a prosperous trading port into an oil-exporting powerhouse with a highly developed, albeit non-diverse, economy.


Southeast Asia’s banks are growing - but there’s danger ahead

Posted by Marios Siappas on Thu, May 23, 2019 @ 08:38 AM

Amid the cut-and-thrust of international banking, it’s hard to set a truly global benchmark for the world’s biggest banks. With the sheer diversity of local markets, it’s not always possible to compare apples with apples.

By one’s region’s standards - say, the well established Western Europe banking industry - the movements in a developing territory like Southeast Asia might seem small by comparison. But an educated observer would recognise the dynamism and potential present within Southeast Asia’s banking scene at the moment.


Steady disruption: The new normal for Southeast Asian banks

Posted by Marios Siappas on Thu, May 16, 2019 @ 10:18 AM

The digital banking revolution is all about keeping customers happy. In order to do that, banks need to “have compelling value propositions for the customer,” according to Siam Commercial Bank’s president Arak Sutivong. In order to present value in 2019 and beyond, disruption is required.

We often think of disruption as a sudden change, predominantly because of the rise of tech startups. Uber changed the way we take cabs, Airbnb revolutionised holidays, Netflix disrupted our viewing habits. In fintech, companies like Monzo in the UK or Alibaba in China have introduced digital-first products that have made waves in the industry almost overnight.


"The cleanest implementation I've ever experienced" - How EXUS helped SCB innovate and streamline in quick time

Posted by Dimitris Vassiliadis on Thu, May 09, 2019 @ 12:34 PM

Colin Dinn, the CTO of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) - Thailand’s largest retail bank - joined the organisation in April 2016 with a big remit: to build new technological capacity and help create “Thailand’s most admired bank”. Achieving this required a ruthless audit of all of SCB’s existing systems, and for Dinn, a key target was the bank’s existing collections software.

When he was appointed, SCB was nearly three-quarters of the way through a marathon five-year implementation process of a new debt collections system. “The day they fully implemented it was the day I said we’re going to replace it,” he says.


10 challenges for debt collections in Southeast Asian banks

Posted by Dimitris Vassiliadis on Thu, May 02, 2019 @ 01:42 PM

Southeast Asia is a diverse and culturally rich collection of nations, each at differing stages of economic development and each posing unique complexities in the banking sector. The region also holds enormous economic potential: Southeast Asia is one of the most rapidly developing regions in the world, with projected economic growth rates averaging 5.1% for member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

For banks operating in these countries - whether they’re multinational institutions entering the territory or existing local banks - there remain notable challenges, particularly when it comes to collections operations and debt recovery. Here are ten such challenges...


The next 10 years for Middle Eastern banking

Posted by Marios Siappas on Thu, Apr 25, 2019 @ 09:23 AM

In the last few years, a wave of change has swept through the Middle East’s traditionally conservative banking sector.

Bumper oil revenues had kept the region’s economies afloat, and substantial public investment by governments brimful with cash had transformed nations like Saudi Arabia and the UAE into modern, wealthy economies. During the era of stable oil prices, the Middle Eastern banks were happy not to rock the boat. With this intransigence came a marked lack of disruption and change in the sector. The banks that were the largest two decades ago remain the main players today.


Low risk, high complexity and a culture of fear: why Indonesia’s banks need to modernise their debt collections

Posted by Dimitris Vassiliadis on Thu, Apr 18, 2019 @ 03:32 PM

Indonesia has a problem with debt. At a national level, government debt amounts to 29% of gross domestic product - lower than neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Thailand, but high enough to cause significant public concern. This debt has grown by 48% in the last five years, even as the value of the Indonesian rupiah continues to slide.

The country’s internal strategies to manage this debt, including cutting state fuel subsidies, have had knock-on effects at the business and personal level. Higher costs and weaker currencies mean more borrowing to make ends meet.