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Experian sets out key strategies to cope with surge in post-Christmas collections activities

News release

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Chantal Heckford / Jennifer Comerford / Duncan Skehens
Lansons Communications
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Experian sets out key strategies to cope with surge in post-Christmas collections activities

Nottingham, UK, 30 November 2009 – Experian®, the global information services company, today advised lenders to ramp up their collections capabilities to ensure that they are able to deal effectively and efficiently with the annual post-Christmas surge in collections cases.

Simon Waller, Head of Collections, Experian UK & Ireland, comments: “Christmas is a catalyst for delinquency and bad debt, with credit card and overdraft debt traditionally peaking in the New Year. Economic indicators and feedback from our collections clients suggests that the first quarter of 2010 could be the busiest period for collections departments ever seen.”

Official figures show:
§   There were 771,000 redundancies in the first three quarters of 2009[1], 94% more than in the corresponding period in 2008 (397,000)
§   There were 41% more people unemployed at the end of Q2 2009[2] (2,388,000) than at the same point in 2008 (1,692,000)
§   Q3 2009 was also the busiest quarter for individual insolvencies across the UK (41,390) since records began[3]

Waller continues: “With unemployment at its highest level since 1996, well over a million long-term unemployed and record numbers of redundancies and individual insolvencies, it is vital for collections departments to do everything they can to ensure that their people and processes can cope with the influx of new cases. Throwing people at the problem is not the answer, debt managers must seek to maximise the performance of their existing resources.

“Some organisations have already taken significant steps towards making their collections departments more sophisticated. However, those that have not will struggle to cope with an influx of new cases that might come their way.

“There are a number of quick and simple improvements to procedures and processes that can make an immediate impact on collections results to help deliver financial benefits by year end. At the very least, collections departments should make use of the data that is easily available to help them define which customers to call and how to get hold of them, as well as to inform collectors about each customer's circumstances in order to have a productive conversation.”

Collections quick-wins for rapid ROI
Experian offers the following advice to help collectors cope with surges in post-Christmas activity:
§   Define which customers to call first by using data and analytics to prioritise accounts according to risk and the likelihood of collections
§   Validate and update customer data with the latest contact details for every account entering collections to maximise right party contacts and minimise unnecessary cost
§   Equip collectors with credit, demographic and behavioural data at the point of interaction to ensure a more informed call that accurately reflects each customer’s individual circumstances and ability to pay

ENDS

About Experian


Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 65 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Combining its unique information tools and deep understanding of individuals, markets and economies, Experian partners with organisations around the world to establish and strengthen customer relationships and provide their businesses with competitive advantage.

For consumers, Experian delivers critical information that enables them to make financial and purchasing decisions with greater control and confidence. Clients include organisations from financial services, retail and catalogue, telecommunications, utilities, media, insurance, automotive, leisure, e-commerce, manufacturing, property and government sectors.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index.  Experian has corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland and has operational headquarters in Costa Mesa, California and Nottingham, UK.  The Group employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries worldwide, supporting clients in over 65 countries around the world. Total Group revenue for the year ended 31 March 2009 was $3.9bn.

For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.