“Intrum and Santander are on a journey together”
The partnership between Santander and Intrum started back in 2011 and is focused on tailored debt collection services, innovation, and the professional treatment of customers.
This is an interview with Oscar Burgos, Deputy Head of Recoveries and Real Estate Owned, Banco Santander, conducted by Intrum for the Annual Sustainability Report 2022.
What kind of debt collection solution does Intrum provide for Santander?
“Intrum and Santander are on a journey together, in which Intrum has provided us with a broad set of services for debt collection in many countries. Today, a large part of what they do concerns debt collection for consumer loans, auto and other non-secured assets; Intrum also purchases debt portfolios from Santander. Here in Spain, Intrum provides a comprehensive debt collection solution, which is tailored for our SME clients for foreclosed assets as well as for secured assets for individuals, mainly mortgages.” Your collaboration started more than ten years ago.
Over the years, Intrum has demonstrated their innovation capabilities and commitment to develop together with us.Oscar Burgos, Banco Santander
What value does the partnership create for Santander?
“Over the years, Intrum has demonstrated their innovation capabilities and commitment to develop together with us. For example, Intrum were among the first to buy debt portfolios from Santander. In addition, their industrialised and automated processes are probably among the most efficient in the industry. Time is money, and by getting help from Intrum we can focus on our own core business. Lastly, Intrum has a good reputation, which is crucial for us.”
What is the most important factor in establishing a good payment solution for customers?
“I would say the most important thing is to be close to the customer, to listen and understand what they have to say to get the full picture of their situation. After that, you can work out a tailored solution together with the customer. Soft skills are also very important in the debt collection process, for example being solutions-based and actively listening. On top of that, you need the resources of a well-grounded company such as systems, procedures, and data.”
The economic situation in Europe is increasingly challenging. Are you noticing any differences in debt collection work?
“For indebted individuals, or SMEs in general, the underlying causes for unpaid debts are the same today as in the past. In general, they are situations relating to additional economic difficulty. The current economic situation is indeed complex, but how it will affect society is not clear yet. We will see the real impact on the economy in the coming months. In terms of debt collection work, once again we have the opportunity to assist and continue accompanying debtors to seek solutions that can help to solve or reduce their financial difficulties.”
Industrialisation of processes, something that Intrum already specialises in, is essential to achieve efficiency and improve management.Oscar Burgos, Banco Santander
How do you see these debt collection services developing going forward?
“There are exciting opportunities ahead. Digitalisation is one of the key drivers to innovation. For instance, the use of data and analytics to help us segment and develop new strategies and methods. Industrialisation of processes, something that Intrum already specialises in, is essential to achieve efficiency and improve management. Another opportunity is adding more digital channels where we meet our customers. We need Intrum to be in the forefront of this industry and we are continuously looking for efficiency measures and innovation. But the most important thing to remember is that the basics in these processes are still the same. You need to spend time with the customer to find a sustainable solution for all parties. This will not change.”