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  • Companies in Europa reinforce the important role of the debt collection sector / 70 percent of users of receivables management services believe that debt collection providers are promoters of good payment practices / Debt collection returns 9.1 percent of revenue to companies throughout Europe

    Hamburg, 22.10.2018 – Unfortunately unpaid invoices are still part of day-to-day business life in Europe. The consequences are reduced profits and cash flow problems. In the worst-case scenario, the existence of a company may be at risk. For this reason, already a third (37 percent) of the European companies are working with debt collection agencies such as EOS. By outsourcing receivables management or selling open receivables, companies receive cash that they would otherwise not have due to payment delay or even default. This means that more than 9 percent of company revenue flows back into the economic cycle - with 9.7% the percentage is slightly higher in Western Europe than in Eastern Europe with 8.6%. Companies report that the percentage is significantly higher in Germany. Here, the share of revenue being returned to companies as a result of debt collection services is 20.7 percent. These figures are confirmed by the representative EOS survey 'European Payment Practices' 2018, which was conducted for the 11th time this year in partnership with market research institute Kantar TNS.

    The following result underscores the cooperation between companies and debt collection services and will certainly not only surprise supporters: Improved payment practices in society because of debt collection. 70 percent of the companies that work with receivables management services agree with this statement. They are observing in practice that using debt collection companies has a positive influence on payment practices of consumers as well as companies. Nearly a third of the companies (28 percent) that have not yet used a debt collection company also believe that the debt collection sector has an effect on society’s conscientiousness regarding payment practices.

    The business world and debt collection complement each other
    Those who do not rely on debt collection have to make up for payment defaults in other places or collect overdue payments on their own – and frequently companies lack the resources to do so. The relevance of the funds recovered by external debt collection services is shown by the way the funds are used. 47 percent of the companies use these funds to secure and create jobs. 61 percent of the companies surveyed report that they are paying their own debts in time. Other positive ways companies reinvest the funds are expansion of the segment (35 percent) and additional investments in research and development (27 percent). All are important activities required to keep the business of European companies going. “Frequently many people will only realize how relevant a sector is when they imagine that it would no longer exist. If one takes economy without debt collection to its logical conclusion, there would be no immediate consequences for non-payers, which would be very alarming from a moral as well as economic perspective. Obviously this scenario emphasizes how important debt collection companies are for our society,” concludes Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group.

     

    About the EOS survey: 'European Payment Practices' 2018
    In conjunction with independent market research institute Kantar TNS (formerly TNS Infratest), EOS conducted phone interviews in the spring of 2018 with 3,400 companies in 17 European countries about the payment practices in their respective locations. 200 companies with an annual turnover of more than EUR 5 million in each of the countries Denmark, Germany, UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Romania, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Russia and Greece answered questions about their own payment experiences, economic developments in their countries and issues relating to risk and receivables management. The survey is being conducted for the 11th year in succession. For more results of the survey go to: https://de.eos-solutions.com/surveys

    The EOS Group
    The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customized financial services. As a specialist in the evaluation and processing of receivables EOS deploys new technologies to offer its some 20,000 customers in 26 countries financial security through smart services. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. Working within an international network of partner companies, the EOS Group has a workforce of around 7,500 and more than 60 subsidiaries, so it can access resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce.

    For more information please visit: www.eos-solutions.com.

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  • European companies suffer the consequences of payment delays / Profit losses and cash flow problems especially serious, despite improvements on the previous year

    Hamburg, 15 October 2018 – Consumers are increasingly demanding more flexibility. For example, they want to decide for themselves where and how they stream movies, or buy a washing machine. However, when consumers adopt these same liberties when it comes to paying their bills, this can have serious implications for the economy. If customers do not pay their bills on time, for example, companies sometimes find themselves in financial difficulties. These are some of the findings of the representative EOS survey 'European Payment Practices' 2018, which was conducted for the 11th time this year in partnership with market research institute Kantar TNS. Alarming result: profit losses and liquidity shortfalls are the most frequent effect of delayed payments throughout Europe. Although there has been a slight improvement in this area compared with last year, 42 percent of companies polled still reported a reduction in profit (2017: 46 percent) and 38 percent were battling cash flow problems (2017: 39 percent). Other repercussions are a decline in investments (23 percent), a restrictive hiring policy (19 percent) and price increases (18 percent). The negative ramifications are very pronounced in Eastern Europe in particular, where 45 percent of firms complained of loss of profit compared with 37 percent in Western Europe. There is an even greater difference in respect of cash flow problems, which affected 42 percent of companies in Eastern Europe compared with just 31 percent in the West.

    Major problems for Greek, Spanish and British companies
    A look at the individual countries reveals significant differences. Spain and Greece stand out for all the wrong reasons, with 59 percent of Spanish companies suffering downturns in their profits due to payment delays and defaults. A good 57 percent of Greek companies reported scant liquidity, and 45 percent, the highest figure in Europe, were seeing a decline in investments. The situation is also problematic for British companies, with 54 percent reporting reduced profits.

    German companies are in a much better position. Only every fifth German company was faced with a cut in profits due to late or missing payments. However, 14 percent did suffer cash flow problems, twice as many as in 2017 (7 percent). All over Europe, on the other hand, the existential threat has fallen slightly. Whereas in 2017, 17 percent of European companies felt their continued existence was at risk, a year later this figure stood at just 14 percent.

    Payment delays put entrepreneurial livelihoods at risk
    Despite the decrease, payment delays in Europe continue to jeopardize around every seventh company, with serious economic implications. “If companies have to wait a long time on outstanding payments, they can sometimes no longer service their ongoing costs like salaries for their workforce. In a worst case scenario this can result in bankruptcy, which destroys economic potential and jobs,” says Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group. This is where professional receivables management can help. Debt collection companies help companies to verify the credit standing of their customers to minimize payment delays and defaults from the very outset and also ensure that the firms receive outstanding payments sooner. In doing so, they make an important contribution to the entire economic cycle. By increasing the liquidity of the companies and improving innovation capacity they therefore safeguard jobs.

     

    About the EOS survey 'European Payment Practices' 2018
    In conjunction with independent market research institute Kantar TNS (formerly TNS Infratest), EOS conducted a telephone interview in spring 2018 with 3,400 companies in 17 European countries about the payment practices in their respective locations. 200 companies with an annual turnover of more than EUR 5 million in each of the countries Denmark, Germany, UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Romania, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Russia and Greece answered questions about their own payment experiences, economic developments in their countries and issues relating to risk and receivables management. The survey was conducted for the 11th year in succession. For more results from the survey please go to: https://de.eos-solutions.com/surveys

    The EOS Group
    The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customized financial services. As a specialist in the evaluation and processing of receivables EOS deploys new technologies to offer its some 20,000 customers in 26 countries financial security through smart services. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. Working within an international network of partner companies, the EOS Group has a workforce of around 7,500 and more than 60 subsidiaries, so it can access resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce.
    For more information please visit: www.eos-solutions.com

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  • European companies are on the same page in respect of payment methods: Conventional modes of payment are preferred / Only 29 percent of companies offer digital payment options

    Hamburg, 9 October 2018 – Europeans have more in common than generally supposed. As well as cultural similarities and a passion for soccer, Europeans prefer conventional means of payment. So companies are meeting their customers' preferences when they continue to offer traditional payment methods. Overall, they offer on average 4.1 payment options, from the traditional to the modern. At 82 percent, bank transfer is the payment method most frequently offered by European companies. Buying on account (64 percent) plays a leading role above all in Western Europe (73 percent), but much less so in Eastern Europe (59 percent) – although it is the top method in Poland at 90 percent. Germany ranks second with 88 percent. Counter to the principle 'get the goods first then pay for them', payment in advance is possible throughout Europe at just over every second company (52 percent), making it the third most popular option. This is the most common payment method in Russia (76 percent). These are some of the findings of the representative EOS survey 'European Payment Practices' 2018. A total of 3,400 companies from 17 countries took part in the questionnaire conducted in the spring by Kantar TNS (formerly TNS Infratest).

    Dominance of conventional payment methods unassailable
    Considered collectively, traditional payment methods are currently predominant. At 39 percent of companies in Europe, customers can pay their bills directly using cash. A third of companies offer payment in installments, while 32 percent offer payment by credit card and 26 percent payment by debit card. Currently, only around 29 percent of firms offer payment by digital means. It is interesting that the majority of European companies do not intend to extend the choice of payment methods in the near future. Only five percent of companies offer their customers the option of using mobile payments or e-wallets. Although everyone might be talking about crypto currencies, just one percent of firms accept this as a payment option.

    Conservative Germans
    In Germany too, traditional methods are popular. German companies mostly offer purchase on account (88 percent) and bank transfer (96 percent) – putting them well above the European average for these methods (64 and 82 percent respectively). They prefer established payment methods: payment in advance (76 percent), direct debit (66 percent) or cash payments (52 percent) are also offered much more frequently in Germany than elsewhere. By contrast, German companies are almost at the bottom of the European rankings for credit card payments (17 percent), with only Russians behind them (15 percent). Although it's currently hard to imagine Germany without these traditional payment methods, many of the decision-makers responding to the survey did state that they were already offering their customers digital payment options (34 percent). In this context, online transfers via third party providers are the favored method at 23 percent.

    Receivables management fosters customer satisfaction
    One man's joy is another man's sorrow: For example, the popular purchase on account method is also associated with the greatest risk to companies of payment delay or even default. This results in a certain dilemma for companies, because they need to find a balance between payment methods that satisfy customer preferences on the one hand but increase the risk of payment delays and defaults on the other. Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group, had this to say: “The mix of payment methods is crucial to a company's success. Potential risks can be minimized through well-functioning receivables management. If this is in place, I can as a company also offer my customers popular payment options like purchase on account and therefore increase customer loyalty and sales.”

     

    About the EOS survey 'European Payment Practices' 2018
    In conjunction with independent market research institute Kantar TNS (formerly TNS Infratest), EOS conducted a telephone interview in spring 2018 with 3,400 companies in 17 European countries about the payment practices in their respective locations. 200 companies with an annual turnover of more than EUR 5 million in each of the countries Denmark, Germany, UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Romania, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Russia and Greece answered questions about their own payment experiences, economic developments in their countries and issues relating to risk and receivables management. The survey was conducted for the 11th year in succession. For more results from the survey please go to: https://de.eos-solutions.com/surveys

    The EOS Group
    The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customized financial services. As a specialist in the evaluation and processing of receivables EOS deploys new technologies to offer its some 20,000 customers in 26 countries financial security through smart services. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. Working within an international network of partner companies, the EOS Group has a workforce of around 7,500 and more than 60 subsidiaries, so it can access resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce.

    For more information please visit: www.eos-solutions.com

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  • Payment practices slightly improved thanks to good economic climate / Payment delays still a problem – every fifth invoice affected

    Hamburg, 24 September 2018 – Europe in the mood to spend. In June, the GfK Consumer Climate for the 28 EU member states reached 23.2 points, its highest level since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2007. Europeans are getting tired of saving and are spending more on consumption. Greater liquidity also means that companies are likely to benefit from improved payment practices. These are also some of the findings of the representative EOS survey 'European Payment Practices' 2018, which was conducted this year for the 11th time in partnership with market research institute Kantar TNS (formerly TNS Infratest). Compared with the previous year, there was a slight improvement in willingness to pay of one percentage point (2017: 78 percent, 2018: 79 percent), confirming a five-year trend. Whereas in 2014, 75 percent of payments were made on time, in 2018 this had risen to 79 percent. In this context, private customers pay sooner than business customers, who are often making use of supplier credits. For the second year in a row, payment terms were cut slightly and are now sitting at 34 days on average. Despite these optimistic results, there is still a negative undertone, as 18 percent of invoices in Europe continue to be paid too late and 3 percent of all outstanding bills are not paid at all.

    Denmark goes straight to the top of the table
    However, there are some differences between the various European countries. In Denmark, for example, private and business customers exhibit the best payment practices by paying their bills on time (85 percent). In Germany, Switzerland and Spain the figure is 82 percent. The lowest number of payments made on time is to be found in Slovakia (73 percent), Greece (74 percent) and Romania (74 percent). The UK is also one of the countries with poor payment practices, with 75 percent of bills settled on time. “In many respects, the imminence of Brexit is causing a lot of uncertainty. The poor payment practices among the British makes clear how the current political situation is slowing down the economy,” says Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group. Denmark, which had been included in the survey for the first time, achieved top marks right away, as it is the top performing country with the best payment practices. The low rate for payment delays and defaults (15 percent) is probably closely associated with the shortest payment terms (11 days for consumers, 27 days for business customers).

    Where there is light there must also be shadow: whenever payments are delayed, Danish customers allow themselves the longest period (23 days) after Slovenia (30 days) and Greece (24 days) to pay their outstanding bills. And Eastern European companies continue to be affected to a greater degree than Western European companies by the problem of delayed payments.

    German companies impose short payment terms on their customers. At 18 days for private customers and 25 days for business customers, payment terms in Germany are much shorter than the Western European average (22 and 35 days respectively). At the same time, German citizens show that punctuality is a German virtue, because in both customer groups, 82 percent of all invoices are paid within the statutory payment term, while the current level of unpaid receivables is a total of two percent. However, in the event of any delays in the payment flow (16 percent), business owners have to wait 22 days on their money, which is longer than the Western European average.

    Payment delays still a problem
    Despite all the positive news, payment delays are still very much part of the daily routine for companies. European companies are affected by payment delays in the case of every fifth invoice. Whereas in the case of business customers the level of payment delays has remained roughly the same as the previous year, it has fallen for private customers. The respondents to the survey see the main reasons for payment delays as being cash flow problems (private customers) or payment defaults by a company's own customers (business customers). As well as purely monetary reasons, companies also think that organizational reasons such as technical problems, irregularities in invoicing procedures or human error can cause business customers to pay late.

    Outlook positive overall
    European companies generally have a somewhat more positive view of the future than in the previous year and remain cautiously optimistic about payment delays. Across all countries, fewer companies than in the previous year think that payment practices are likely to get worse in the future (13 percent). However, only every fourth company (24 percent) expects an actual improvement in payment practices. Only in Germany does the proportion of those expecting payment practices to get worse in future predominate (18 percent). Russia and Slovenia, on the other hand, are more optimistic. Companies there see almost no reason for things to get worse in future (5 and 3 percent respectively). Likewise in Belgium, where just 9 percent of experts are pessimistic about future payment practices.

     

    About the EOS survey 'European Payment Practices' 2018
    In conjunction with independent market research institute Kantar TNS (formerly TNS Infratest), EOS conducted a telephone interview in spring 2018 with 3,400 companies in 17 European countries about the payment practices in their respective locations. 200 companies with an annual turnover of more than EUR 5 million in each of the countries Denmark, Germany, UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Romania, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Russia and Greece answered questions about their own payment experiences, economic developments in their countries and issues relating to risk and receivables management. The survey was conducted for the 11th year in succession. For more results from the survey please go to: https://de.eos-solutions.com/surveys

    The EOS Group

    The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customized financial services. As a specialist in the evaluation and processing of receivables EOS deploys new technologies to offer its some 20,000 customers in 26 countries financial security through smart services. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. Working within an international network of partner companies, the EOS Group has a workforce of around 7,500 and more than 60 subsidiaries, so it can access resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce.

    For more information please visit: www.eos-solutions.com

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    • Significant increase: revenue and EBT at record levels
    • Purchase of secured receivables a growth segment
    • Investment in smart data solutions and artificial intelligence

    Hamburg, Germany, 16 July 2018 – The Hamburg-based EOS Consolidated has performed exceptionally well in the financial year 2017/18. At EUR 271.5 million, its earnings before tax (EBT) were 39 percent up on the previous year. EOS also increased its revenue substantially to EUR 795 million, an increase of 19.8 percent compared with the previous year. Because EOS has changed its fiscal year end date throughout the entire Group to 28 February, 30 companies in Western and Eastern Europe contributed an additional two months of results to the overall sales performance.

    “Once again, we have held our ground in a very competitive environment,” says Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group. Price pressure had increased enormously in the receivables purchasing segment in particular, also as a result of cash-rich investors from outside the sector. “For us, the purchase of non-performing debts continues to be an essential segment. In the past year we have demonstrated this successfully yet again.” In this context EOS will be focusing even more strongly in the future on the acquisition of mortgage-backed debt packages.

    What success means for EOS

    “For me, an excellent operating result means much more than EBT and an increase in revenue: I am talking about the progress we are making with digitalization and cultural change,” says Engberding. “What is paramount for me is how we work together at EOS and develop ideas.” And in this respect EOS has come a long way. This is evident, for example, in the development and use of new technologies, with a particular emphasis on smart data and artificial intelligence. “The systematic use of relevant, pseudonymized data is a crucial tool for evaluating and processing debt packages and therefore ensures our competitiveness,” explains Engberding. By taking this approach EOS is exploiting the opportunity to invest in new asset classes as well as in debt portfolios in countries where EOS is not represented. The use of advanced analytics benefits EOS customers and their customers alike. “By adapting the recovery process individually to each late payer, we can quickly find a satisfactory solution for all parties.”

    Results in the regions

    In Germany, revenue increased by 7.2 percent over the previous year to EUR 327.5 million. This means that Germany remains the most important regional market, with 46 percent of consolidated sales.

    With a growth in sales of 46.4 percent, the Western Europe region has once again achieved an outstanding result. EOS generated total sales of EUR 240.4 million in this region. One reason for this is the satisfying business performance in France, Belgium, Spain and Switzerland.

    At EUR 183.2 million, Eastern Europe earned its highest revenue to date in the history of the EOS Consolidated and was able to outperform the already excellent level of the previous year by 39.4 percent. This growth was fueled in particular by the much higher revenue from the purchase of receivables in Croatia and Hungary.

    In the North America region revenue was lower than the previous year, because in the USA the contract to process government-issued student loans expired at the beginning of the fiscal year.

     

    The EOS Group

    The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customized financial services. As a specialist in the evaluation and processing of receivables EOS deploys new technologies to offer its some 20,000 customers in 26 countries financial security through smart services. The company's core business is the purchase of unsecured and secured debt portfolios. Working within an international network of partner companies, the EOS Group has a workforce of around 7,500 and more than 60 subsidiaries, so it can access resources in more than 180 countries. Its key target sectors are banking, utilities, real estate and e-commerce.

    For more information please visit: www.eos-solutions.com.

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  • Hamburg, 10 July 2018 – Outstanding performance confirmed. For the 14th time in succession, EOS Holding has once again been given an ‘A’ rating by credit rating agency Euler Hermes Rating, providing renewed confirmation that the debt collection specialist enjoys a good credit standing. The auditors emphasized the company's market leadership in Germany and its strong market position in Western and Eastern Europe. The rating was also the result of the company's longstanding experience in processing non-performing receivables and in receivables purchasing.

    “In the last financial year we have invested EUR 0.5 billion in receivables,” says Justus Hecking-Veltman, Member of the EOS Group’s Board of Directors and CFO. This shows how important this business segment continues to be for the EOS Group. “The acquisition of secured debt portfolios in particular is an attractive growth market for us,” explains Hecking-Veltman. This is also evident from the auditors' report, because this year Euler Hermes Rating specifically praised the company's ongoing expansion of expertise in real estate evaluation, development and realization. “We are now active in this business segment in eleven European countries and plan to expand into others.”

    As a result, the auditors attested that EOS represents a low financial risk due to its very stable cash flow situation and continually high and consistent earnings level.

    The EOS Group 
    The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customized financial services. Its main focus is on receivables management, in particular the three segments fiduciary collection, receivables purchasing and business process outsourcing. With its workforce of around 7,000 and more than 55 subsidiaries, EOS offers some 20,000 customers in 26 countries around the world financial security through customized services in the B2C and B2B segments. Working in an international network of partner companies, the EOS Group has resources in more than 180 countries. The company's key target sectors are banking, insurance, utilities, telecommunications, the public sector, real estate and e-commerce.
    For more information please go to: www.eos-solutions.com.

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  • Hamburg, 29.05.2018 - The EOS Group is planning to sell Hamburg-based Health AG and Zahnärztekasse AG, which is located in Switzerland. The companies, both of which have a strong position in the market, offer potential buyers the ideal conditions for establishing a pan-European platform in dental factoring. In addition, the innovative practice management software "Hēa" will enable the development of new markets.

    'Our two companies are operating in future markets – healthcare and technology', says Klaus Engberding, CEO of EOS. 'To tap into additional business segments and new markets in the health sector we are now seeking the most suitable future owner to actively support the companies during their next growth phases.' With a factoring volume of around EUR 1 billion, Health AG and Zahnärztekasse AG, together, generate sales in the mid double-digit million Euro range.

    Sale by auction
    Health AG and Zahnärztekasse AG will be offered for sale together. The sale will be managed by means of a structured auction procedure and potential investors will be approached as of June 2018. Interested parties can submit a non-binding offer by the beginning of September. The completion of the transaction is planned for February 2019. In the past, strategic buyers and financial investors have shown great interest in Health AG and Zahnärztekasse AG. EOS has engaged investment bank Lazard (Frankfurt branch) to ensure an efficient sale process.

    Health AG
    Health AG, consisting of EOS Health Honorarmanagement AG and EOS Health IT-Concept GmbH, is a provider of financial and IT services for the health market. With more than 2000 customers it is one of the market leaders in German dental factoring. Moreover, thanks to its recently introduced practice management software Hēa, the company is now a frontrunner in the e-health segment: Hēa digitises, networks and simplifies all processes for the web-based management of dental practices with a focus on billing. Since its establishment in 2005, the company has evolved from a factoring start-up to an independent company providing financial and technology services.

    Zahnärztekasse AG
    Zahnärztekasse AG is a financial services provider in the health sector and with 1000 customers has become the market leader in the Swiss dental factoring segment. Its customised and modular based services, combined with an efficient IT infrastructure, relieves medical practice teams of administrative tasks and secures the liquidity of its clients. Since its foundation in 1963 the company has become established as a reliable partner to Swiss dentists.

    Contact for press and media:
    fischerAppelt, relations GmbH
    Email: eos@fischerappelt.de, Tel.: +49 40 899 699 347

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  • Majority of EU companies associate new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with even more data security in the receivables management segment / Companies report extra work above all in administrative and HR areas / More than 10 percent of EU companies not familiar with GDPR

    Hamburg, 22 May 2018 – Europe’s companies generally have a positive attitude to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), despite the extra work involved. This is because more than two thirds (69 percent) of all European companies that rate the new regulation as relevant to them will benefit from greater data security in receivables management. This applies in particular to Spanish and Danish companies (each 78 percent); in Germany, on the other hand, the figure is 71 percent. These results were the outcome of a special analysis by the EOS Group on the impact of the new regulation in Europe. The survey polled 3,000 companies in 15 European countries. The analysis is part of the EOS Survey ‘European Payment Practices' 2018 conducted by independent market research institute Kantar TNS.

    GDPR: Only just over half of EU companies considers it relevant
    ‘The special analysis shows how important data security and data protection are for European companies,’ explains Kirsten Pedd, Chief Compliance Officer and Chief General Counsel of the EOS Group in Germany. ‘Nevertheless there are still companies that are not familiar with the GDPR at all. There is a risk that the regulation is being taken lightly.’ The EOS analysis shows that 11 percent of the EU companies polled have not known about the GDPR so far. A quarter of the companies surveyed (25 percent) are familiar with the regulation but think it is not very relevant or not relevant at all to their own business. Only just over half (57 percent) of companies polled consider the new regulation to be relevant to them.

    Extra work throughout Europe - espacially in the administrative and HR areas
    The 57 percent of EU companies that recognise that the GDPR is relevant to them also report that there is extra work involved, primarily affecting administration. As well as an increase in documentation obligations, around two thirds (69 percent) of companies say that there is more bureaucracy as a result of implementing the regulation and an increase in information obligations (65 percent). More than half of the companies (55 percent) also report an increase in the need for personnel resources. A total of 26 percent of companies even state that the GDPR could jeopardise their business model.

    Receivables management: companies well prepared
    ‘Although most experts for receivables management are prepared for the extra work that may be involved, they clearly associate the GDPR with more data security and data protection,’ concludes Kirsten Pedd. ‘Thanks to this clear awareness, companies are well prepared for the implementation of the regulation.’

    The GDPR applies to all EU companies from 25 May
    The GDPR is a regulation of the European Union that affects private companies and public bodies. The regulation has been in force since 25 May 2016, but all EU countries have to implement it from 25 May 2018. The objective of the regulation is to protect personal data within the EU and ensure free movement of data within the EU single market.


    About the EOS survey ‘European Payment Practices’ 2018
    In the spring of 2018, in partnership with independent market research institute Kantar TNS (formerly TNS Infratest), EOS surveyed 3,400 companies with a minimum of 20 staff and an annual turnover of at least €5 million about prevailing local payment practices, economic developments in their countries, and issues relating to risk and receivables management. The results presented here are part of a special analysis of the survey of 3,000 companies from 15 EU countries: Germany, UK, Spain, France, Belgium, Austria, Romania, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland and Greece.

    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. 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:
    ( Verlinkung noch nachtragen http://www.eos-solutions.com/paymentpractices2017/digitalisation)


    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: http://www.eos-solutions.com/paymentpractices2017

    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: http://www.eos-solutions.com/paymentpractices2017/paymentdeadlines


    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/paymentpractices2017/wilfulintent

    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.

    Further details are provided in the latest issue of our annual publication "Insights" at www.eos-solutions.com/insights

    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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  • Hamburg. Even just one unpaid invoice leaves its mark on a company, let alone hundreds of thousands: For the companies involved these losses can in some cases run into the millions. Just under half of the companies surveyed reported profit setbacks (46 per cent). Other consequences they have to deal with include cash flow problems (39 per cent) and higher interest costs (34 per cent). As a result, the companies lack the money to grow. Across Europe, every fourth company (25 per cent) is therefore curbing its investments. Some companies (17 per cent) are even fighting to survive due to outstanding payments. These are the results of the representative EOS survey ‘European Payment Practices’ 2017 that is being published for the 10th time this year. A total of 3,200 companies took part in the survey conducted by Kantar TNS (formerly TNS Infratest) in the spring.

    Eastern Europe: Strong brake on investment
    In Eastern European countries in particular, payment delays and defaults are putting a brake on investments. In Greece, 39 per cent of firms are currently cutting back on investments, while in Hungary and Croatia, almost every third company is curbing investment. But in the Czech Republic and Poland, only 18 per cent of business owners feel compelled to do so.

    Few investment cutbacks in Germany
    Despite payment defaults and delays, German companies continue to bank on growth. Only seven per cent of the companies surveyed are investing less. The situation is different in the UK and Spain, where every third company is scaling back its investment volume (34 and 33 per cent respectively). Belgium has the highest percentage of companies reducing investments (28 per cent).

    Klaus Engberding ‘Debt collection counteracts the investment freeze’
    'The level of investment is an important indicator for the growth of a company – and therefore also for the entire economy’, explains Klaus Engberding, CEO of the Hamburg-based EOS Group. 'Numerous factors are considered in the investment decision – but above all you need the financial resources. So missing payments from customers are very painful, especially for SMEs that do not have the backing of financially strong shareholders. But there is a lot that even SMEs can do, particularly against payment defaults and delays.’ For Klaus Engberding, working with debt collection companies is an important method of countering a freeze on investment. Last year, debt collection service providers across Europe secured 8 per cent of company revenue.

    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/paymentpractices2017/investmentbrake

    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. Because of payment delays on the part of its customers, a company with an annual turnover of EUR 10 million has to wait for a long time on a sum of around EUR 1.9 million, while EUR 300,000 are completely unrecoverable (19 percent of all invoices in Europe are paid late and three percent are not paid at all). Ultimately, the consequences affect not only the defaulting payers themselves, but all consumers: Every fifth European company (20 percent) reacts to these kinds of payment delays and defaults by cutting jobs and freezing recruitment. Roughly just as many (21 percent) increase their prices – and so the boomerang effect begins. This is one of the findings of the representative EOS Survey ‘European Payment Practices’ 2017, which was conducted this year for the tenth time. In spring this year, independent market research institute Kantar TNS polled 3,200 corporate decision-makers from 16 European countries.

    Price increases most frequent in Eastern Europe
    In Eastern Europe in particular, companies react to payment delays or defaults by raising prices. This is most common in Hungary (32 percent), followed by Croatia (30 percent). In Western Europe, British firms are the most likely to increase their prices (26 percent). Only Switzerland comes close (24 percent). In Germany, on the other hand, the response is muted: only four percent of companies react to payment delays and defaults by raising prices.

    Hiring policy: Germany reacts calmly – Greece takes drastic measures
    In respect of a recruitment freeze or job cuts, Greece exhibits the strongest reaction in Europe to payment delays and defaults: in 31 percent of companies polled in Greece, payment defaults impacted on hiring policies. The UK is only slightly behind (29 percent). Romania and Spain are in third place (at 27 percent each). By way of comparison: In Germany, only 6 percent of companies take steps to reduce personnel.

    ‘Many people are not even aware of the consequences of late or unrecoverable payments. We would like to educate people about this and about the importance of debt collection’, says Klaus Engberding, CEO of the Hamburg-based EOS Group. ‘Debt collecting often has a cliché-ridden, negative image among the public. The role it plays in the economy is generally not visible, although this is something that the consumer benefits substantially from. Because the liquidity restored to a company as a result of debt recovery helps it to avoid increasing prices or cutting back jobs.’

    About the EOS survey: ‘European Payment Practices’
    In the spring of 2017, in partnership with the independent market research institute Kantar TNS, EOS polled 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, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Russia, Greece and Romania 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/paymentpractices2017/consumer

    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, 19 percent of customers pay their invoices late – and three percent do not pay them at all. The resulting loss of revenue can have serious consequences: no less than 17 percent of companies worry about going bankrupt. This means that debt collection services are all the more important to them: A total of 41 percent of the European companies polled work regularly with debt collection providers. Last year these debt collection professionals recovered eight percent of outstanding company revenue. This is the result of the representative EOS Survey ‘European Payment Practices’ 2017, which was conducted this year for the tenth time.

    East-West comparison: Who secures more revenue?
    In Eastern Europe it is mainly Romanian companies that benefit from working with debt collection providers. Every year, collaboration with receivables management specialists returns a total of 13 percent of revenue to the companies. In both Croatia (12 percent) and the Czech Republic (11 percent) debt collection providers have recovered more than ten percent of company revenue. In Western Europe, German companies in particular enjoy the benefits of working with debt collection providers, with an eight percent share of revenue being returned to companies as a result of receivables management services.

    Effective use of receivables management
    Most companies use the payments recovered through receivables management to settle outstanding invoices (58 percent), while 44 percent of the companies invest the money in creating new jobs and safeguarding existing jobs. This means that debt collection providers contribute to the stability of the job market. In addition, the resources recovered go into expanding business segments (37 percent), R&D (28 percent) and investing in the financial markets (25 percent).

    Valuable business service
    ‘Outstanding payments are a risk to companies. Firms should work with debt collection specialists in good time, as it enables them to focus on their core business, while their liquidity is safeguarded by professional receivables management’, explains Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group.

    About the EOS survey: ‘European Payment Practices’
    In the spring of 2017, in partnership with the independent market research institute Kantar TNS, EOS polled 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, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Russia, Greece and Romania answered questions about their own payment experiences, economic developments in their countries and issues relating to risk and receivables management.

    We are happy to send you details of the survey results on request. Simply email presse@eos-solutions.com. Information on the survey is also available online: www.eos-solutions.com/paymentpractices2017/economicdriver

    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. Payment practices in Europe are currently at a level of 78% of invoices paid on time. After the overall positive developments over the past ten years, this confirms that payment practices have stagnated. The percentage of invoices paid late (19%) and invoices in default (3%) has not been improving or just slightly improving in the last three years. This is the result of the 'European Payment Practices' 2017 survey conducted by the independent market research institute Kantar TNS on behalf of the EOS Group. Data was collected from 3,200 companies in 16 countries during the survey carried out this spring for the tenth time in a row. 'A payment default rate of 3% can be very worrying for companies. This may include sums in the billions that companies do not have available to cover their own costs or to invest in their future', says Klaus Engberding, CEO of the EOS Group. In Eastern Europe the average percentage of unpaid invoices was even as high as 4%. Payment practices in Greece, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia (74% of payments made on time) were the worst. Companies in Germany (89%) and Switzerland (82%) show the largest number of payments made on time.

    Outlook for the future deteriorates
    Payment practices in Europe have been continually improving over the last ten years, albeit only slightly. Looking to the future, 77% of the companies do not expect any further upswing, which means payment practices will remain the same or get worse. Eastern European companies, in particular, significantly lowered their positive expectations compared to the previous year. The mood in Russia is the most pessimistic. 30% of the companies surveyed expect that payment practices will deteriorate. 'Thanks to the increasing oil prices Russia is moving out of its recession, however structural reforms within the country are still needed to stabilise the economy', states Klaus Engberding. 'However, as of now such reforms are not in sight. The reluctance of businesspeople is understandable'. Negative expectations have also increased by 7% in the United Kingdom compared to the previous year. 'This is not a surprise given the pending Brexit process', the CEO comments. The situation in Spain is more surprising. 'Despite strong growth every fourth person asked assumes that payment practices will still deteriorate. Businesspeople do not see enough stability in the economic upswing', believes Engberding.

    Ten years of 'European Payment Practices'
    EOS has been conducting the 'European Payment Practices' survey since 2007. The Hamburg company analyses the European economic zone together with independent market research institutes. The focus is on customer payment practices in companies with average revenues of 28 million euro and 180 employees. After starting with four countries EOS continued to expand the survey. 16 countries participated this year. 'The collection of data is very time-consuming. We conduct 200 interviews with decision-makers in accounts receivable management in each country', explains Mark Lammers, Associate Director Kantar TNS. 'We have been collecting high-quality data with this method for ten years now. The market assessments that can be derived from this data have a high significance', Lammers continues.  

    Further results from the European Payment Practices survey can be found online at: www.eos-solutions.com/paymentpractices2017

    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. ‘You know what you have to do’ – this message passed on by a husky voice on the telephone to a person in a dark parking garage launches one of the three viral spots placed online by the EOS Group. Today, the specialist for receivables management starts its viral campaign ‘The debt collectors’ way’ on Facebook and YouTube. The films address well-known preconceptions of the debt collection industry in an entertaining way and these are then refuted on the associated campaign website (www.the-debt-collectors-way.com). EOS deliberately plays with some well-known stereotypes with the aim of making the taboo topic of debt collection an objective subject of conversation.

    Debt collection is an important economic service but its public perception is often very detached from reality. ‘We have produced three video spots to showcase reputable debt collection’, says Klaus Engberding, Chairman of the EOS Group’s Board of Directors. ‘Thus, we take responsibility for the professionalism of our industry.’ The unusual approach that EOS takes, is an essential element of the concept: ‘Instead of bone-dry arguments we work with charming short stories’, explains Lara Flemming, Head of Corporate Communications & Marketing of the EOS Group. ‘We very deliberately take aim right at the heart of the stereotypes and preconceptions, address and then resolve them in our films in a light-hearted, twinkle-in-the eye way.’ Making ‘what debt collection truly is’ really clear is just one of the campaign objectives. Ms Flemming: ‘The campaign should be seen as an offer of dialogue. We want to be transparent about our work, to be open and ‘talk with each other, not talk over each other’. 

    The videos were produced under the direction of the Hamburg-based creative agency, La Red. The three videos in the ‘Debt collectors’ way’ campaign can be viewed on the campaign website: www.the-debt-collectors-way.com

    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 just under 8,000 employees and more than 60 subsidiaries, EOS offers some 20,000 clients in 28 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 go to: www.eos-solutions.com.You can download high-resolution press photos and further press information here: http://eos-solutions.com/the-debt-collectors-way

    Contact for press queries:
    HOSCHKE & CONSORTEN
    Public Relations GmbH
    Christof Kaplanek
    Tel.: +49 40 36 90 50-38
    Email: c.kaplanek@hoschke.de

    Phil Stephan
    Tel.: +49 40 36 90 50-53
    Email: p.stephan@hoschke.de

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