Bankinter Consumer Finance, a company specialising in consumer loans and credit cards, consolidated its position as one of the main drivers of growth for the bank, thanks to its exceptional results in 2017.
Despite a climate of fierce competition and taking advantage of the improved economic activity in Spain and Portugal, this business segment area delivered record results in 2017, with a 41.8% increase in loans to consumers and a 27.5% increase in the number of customers, which already total 1,145,000 including Portugal. In May, the company also began operations in Portugal with very important business expectations and with the aim of revitalising the consumer market in this neighbouring country through a commercial offer already proven in Spain. The volume of loans now stands at 51.9 million euros.
As a result of this drive, Bankinter Consumer Finance was once again the bank with the highest market growth, and it is now in fourth place in the ranking of specialist entities, according to the data of the Spanish Association of Financial Credit Establishments (ASNEF).
Two factors played a decisive role in the progress made by Bankinter Consumer Finance: the Bank's traditional experience in risk management and the implementation of an ambitious plan to improve equipment and technology.
The Bank's three biggest lines of business, which performed positively in 2017, benefited from both factors:
Consumer finance for Bankinter customers. It offers products and services, both to individuals and companies. The most important of these products are the pre-authorised loans, which are available to virtually all customers and priced in accordance with the risk profile of each customer. The market penetration of consumer finance was helped by new digital tools, which make the loan agreement process faster and simpler. Also, new products were created and campaigns launched in 2017, to meet customers' needs and at those times of year when there is a greater propensity to use consumer financing, and the results were excellent. Online registration for credit cards was introduced and special offers were launched for those that allow deferred payment.
Bankintercard. In the consumer loan segment for the open market (not customers of the bank), Bankinter's market share is significantly higher than corresponds for a bank of its size. It is based on two fundamental pillars: ease of access, taking advantage of the possibilities provided by the digital world, and strategic alliances with large companies. If 2016 was notable for the agreement with Air Europa, then 2017 stands out for Bankinter launching a loyalty card with the electricity company Viesgo, which shows very promising signs.
Point-of-sale financing. This consists of granting loans to purchase goods or services from a company acting as an agent. Also of note in 2017 was the start up of an online system for arranging loans specifically to buy cars.
The challenges for 2018 are to continue with the digitalisation process in all areas of the company, to increase the credit card business among Bankinter customers through added value products and services, and to continue exploring new strategic alliances with important partners of major sectors of activity.
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