News Article

Sector Analysis

Success rates supersede costs in selecting outsourced debt collections, says Atradius study

By CreditMan Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The latest “Global Collections Review” survey undertaken by leading worldwide B2B debt collections specialist Atradius Collections, shows a new trend amongst businesses when selecting a debt collections agency. For the first time, success rate has superseded price as the highest ranking consideration.

Raymond van der Loos, managing director of Atradius Collections explained: “Successful debt collections and ensuring solvency is fundamental to business. The study has made clear that the choice of a collection agency is made based on its quality, meaning its performance and ability to succeed in collecting, and not price.

“Here at Atradius Collections we are often asked about our success rates. Today we lead the market with an overall success rate of over 55% for national and international debt globally. The Global Collections Review again has shown that the ability of external debt collection agencies to deliver results is the key factor for businesses to employ a debt collections agency.”

An additional significant finding from the study: companies are more willing to outsource their debt collections activities to external agencies in 2011 than in previous years. During the crisis, many businesses engaged internal resources in collecting outstanding debt. But with some economies in recovery and the shift in focus to generating business, collecting debt is increasingly something that can be outsourced. This finding was significant in Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Great Britain, where companies surveyed cited a 10% increase, reflecting the higher success rates of debt collection agencies and their expertise in the field.

Though France underwent a decrease in the use of debt collections agencies, this is attributable to the tendency to sell on debt,- the same applies in Denmark.

The Netherlands leads the way in the use of external debt collections agencies where 65% of the businesses surveyed have used this service - significantly more than in countries such as Spain, which remains low at just 20%.

Broken down by sector, companies operating in the financial services sector tend to use a debt collections agency most often, while other sectors, such as manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade and distribution services, show a preference for handling collections internally.

Overall, European attitudes relating to the selection of debt collection agencies were remarkably similar, which indicates that the requirements, expectations and high standards demanded of agencies are consistent factors irrespective of business type, size or location.

The survey for the Global Collections Review was conducted amongst almost 2000 businesses throughout nine countries in Europe, monitoring commercial debt collection trends and practices.

About the Global Collections Review
Atradius Collections conducts regular surveys of corporate collections behaviour across a range of countries. The findings are published in The Global Collections Review. This survey is conducted twice a year and is the forth time that the Global Collections Review has been published since its inception in 2009. In this survey almost 2,000 businesses located in nine countries across Europe which include Belgium, France, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Italy and Spain were surveyed. The full Global Collections Review can be downloaded from .

About Atradius Collections
Atradius Collections, a business unit of Atradius Group, provides efficient, quick and flexible solution to recover domestic and international trade debts. With over 350 staff in 20 offices and an extensive network of collections specialists and lawyers worldwide, Atradius Collections serves more than 12,000 customers and handles, on average, 100,000 cases a year. Over 85 years of global credit management industry experience, uniquely positions Atradius Collections as a worldwide leader in business-to-business debt collections.

Please visit for more information.