Natland a EC Financial Services - Non-bank Loans

From financing and crisis management of 2012 all the way to a strong and stable market player of today

 

2011
Situation on the Market for Consumer Loans

During the low growth era after the financial storm of 2008 there are 2 types of demand for consumer loans:

  • Short term liquidity problems by people previously hit by recession
  • Bringing consumption forward by people participating in the improving labour market 

Bank loans remain inaccessible for most small clients.

There are almost 60 thousand non-bank providers of consumer loans:

  • They operate outside of direct oversight and regulation by the central bank
  • Business plan often aims at earning late fees or contracted operational fees, and getting collateral from defaulting clients

There is room on the market for a standard business plan based on repeating repaid loans and preventing insolvencies

2011 ExpressCash Enters the Market

The business plan has two pillars, concentrating on a long-term relationship with:

  • The client: a cooperating borrower can have all contractual or late fees waived. The client has a motivation to cooperate and to return.
  • Salespeople: success fees are transparent and fair to all, without short-term quick acquisition drives which undermine concentration on the long term.

Founders’ initial investment is insufficient to finance further expansion from southern Moravia to Bohemia

2012 Natland Enters to Finance Expansion

  • Natland provides a loan of EUR 2 million, payable by the end of the year and secured by financial instruments

  • Natland acquires 10% of shares

  • Investment results in doubling the volume of loans, via SouthBohemian District the company expands also to Prague

Birth of Distressed Asset

  • Problems appear among Founders, ability to repay financing is threatened
  • Synergies from joint venture with a cooperative saving society run up against regulatory obstacles
  • Extension of regulation by the Czech National Bank also onto the non-bank loan market

Natland solves problems

  • From an initial finance provider Natland morphs into a crisis manager emphasising financial market
  • Undertakes restructuralisation, injects more money, founds EC Financial Services Company
  • Earns licence from the central bank among the first batch of four market participants

Series of Problems and Solutions

2012 Birth of a Distressed Asset

  • After problems among Founders, the ability to repay expansion loan is threatened
  • Company liquidation is a real possibility. Natland changes its role from a financier to a crisis manager

Healthy core of the original company is transferred to the newly created EC Financial Services Company, fully owned by Natland

Natland begins the journey to recovery from annual losses by EC Financial Services in excess of EUR 2 million.

2014 Problems with Synergies

  • Recovery is supposed to be aided by synergies from a joint venture with ANO, the savings cooperative, which can source finances from its member while EC Financial Services lends them out
  • Savings cooperatives fall under the central bank’s regulation. Adjusting internal processes to compliance is difficult, but EC Financial Services gains experience which is going to pay off in the future

Under direct financial management by Natland’s David Manych which emphasises achieving specific financial goals, losses are gradually reduced and costs of regulatory adjustments dissolved.

Process is aided by the experience and discipline of Natland as an investment group with clearly defined investment and divestment windows. Profitability can be achieved faster, and investment group’s backing reduces fear from undertaking further risky reforming steps. 
 

2017 Enabling Another Company’s Exit (1)

  • EC Financial Services acquires an important contract for a creditor of DOOR Financial Company engulfed in legal battles for its future 
  • Thanks to its superior internal processes, EC Financial Services can in the end collect loans much more effectively than the original loan provider

This underscores the utility of concentrating on long-term cooperation with clients and of the ability to take over and efficiently administer an existing distressed portfolio.

2017 Financing by a Senior Bank

  • In addition to direct managerial involvement, until 2017 Natland had also been the primary source of financing, both of loans themselves as well as of transformation of the company itself. 
  • To achieve bank financing, transformation must be completed into a stable mature company capable of reacting to changes of the market and/or of the regulatory framework
  • This checkpoint was reached in 2017 when a senior bank finances 70% of acquisition of a branch of JET Money

The successful transformation under Natland’s stewardship allowed for bypassing one while evolutionary stage – issuing bonds. Senior banks are usually ready to enter only after successful completion of that stage. 

Building on its previous experience with regulatory environment, at the end of the year EC Financial Services becomes one of the first 4 non-bank recipients of the new central bank’s licence to issue loans.

2018 Enabling Another Company’s Exit (2)

  • Acquisition (for dozens of millions of Euros) of portfolio of a competitor contemplating leaving the market
  • Company from Olomouc (central Moravia) operating under the trademark Smart Loan wanted to leave the market but guarantee continuity for its clients, salespeople and employees. 
  • EC Financial Services was able to take over all 700 salespeople and gradually to optimise the two networks together. 

After a series of investments and capital injections, EC Financial Services achieves high profitability.

It can therefore begin the journey of repaying to Natland the significant costs it incurred as an investor enabling this transformation. The investor can then in turn use these funds for transforming other projects which lag behind their potential. 
 

Proven track-record in enabling other companies' exit and in achieving senior financing

2019 Profitable Company Trusted by the Financial Market

On route to achieving EC Financial Services’ profitability, Natland administered a health restoring treatment emphasising achieving financial goals.

Implementation of detailed modern processes of financial management did increase costs at the beginning, but also created conditions for the fastest compliance with regulatory framework on the market for non-bank consumer loans.

Building on this rich experience, EC Financial Services has matured in a few years into a fully adult company with a proven ability to responsibly take over portfolios of other companies which may be thinking of exiting the market – and to offer their clients the same high level of service.

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Distressed asset has been cured, trust of senior banks secured and a healthy growth achieved, opening room for further acquisitions.

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EC Financial Services is a flagship of restoring health to the market of consumer loans - satisfied clients are coming back for repeat loans without fearing for their future.

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Ability to quickly react to further changes in the regulatory framework, thanks to modern internal processes. 

1st half of 2019:

profit of € 2 million

2x increased revenues

Expectation for 2019:

over € 200 mil. revenue

€ 5 mil. EBITDA

Even the best laid business plan can become a distressed asset. 
Investor's reaction is then key. With experience, 
he can reconstruct instead of liquidating.