Consumer finance in the CEE region - How to emerge stronger from the crisis
Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and EFMA (European financial management & marketing association) recently carried out a detailed market research on the consumer credit business in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The study "Consumer Finance in the CEE region – How to emerge stronger from the crisis" found a market in turmoil. Specialist lenders such as auto banks are rethinking their market presence in the region.
Between 2005 and 2008 there was 50% growth in the annual volume of consumer credit (excluding mortgages) in Romania and Russia and 15-30% growth in Central European countries such as the Czech Republic and Hungary. But now – for the time being, at least – the gold rush is over. Growth in the level of consumer credit is down to single digits, while default rates have hit double digits in many areas.
To remain at the top, it is important for any Consumer Finance player in the CEE region to increase its organizational flexibility and rate of innovation. Marketing and risk management (targeting the right customers) will be the main factors for differentiation against competition.