Aforti Finance, the leading non-bank lender in Poland joins Debitum Network platform
Debitum Network keeps on growing and new parties onboard our platform each month. Today, we are happy to announce a new partnership as we onboard a new loan originator from Poland Aforti Finance. Aforti Finance is one of the leading non-bank lenders in the Polish market, which is one of the largest in the Central and Eastern European region. It is part of Aforti Holding, which is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. We sat down to talk about the company with Tomasz Kaźmierski – the Chief Sales Officer (CSO) and the Vice President of Aforti Finance S.A. Get acquainted with our new partner!
How would you introduce Aforti to our community?
We are part of Aforti Holding – a company listed on the New Connect market being side market of the Warsaw Stock Exchange. We have been operating on the Polish market since 2014, is currently the largest non-banking financial institution providing financing to business clients, mainly small and medium enterprises. The Board of Directors team consists of experienced managers with a strong background in financial institutions as well as in non-banking companies. Therefore, in the credit assessment of customers, we implement procedures and rules similar to banking ones, which allows for skipping too risky customers. Also, we focus on process automation – which makes our offer really competitive in comparison to other market players in Poland. We offer our products through our own outlets and through dedicated Call Centers. At the same time, we work with brokers, however closing the deal is being done by Aforti Finance employees, what allows us to properly check the customer and greatly limit the number of bad loans and subsequent NPL (Non-Performing Loans).
Can you describe how your lending process works? How is it different from getting a loan in a bank?
Our process is pretty simple but precise and accurate. Also, what is important for our clients, it is really fast. As soon as we receive a client’s documents, we begin the analysis involving an automatic check of the client in external scoring databases (including bank databases), where our potential client shall be verified. In addition, we automatically process bank statements using specially designed software that ensures their authenticity. We can close the entire decision process in 4 hours – we meet the expectations of the client who expects decisions as soon as possible. If the amount of the loan granted meets the client’s expectations – we arrange a meeting with our verifier, who meets with the client in the place of his business to verify and confirm originals of all previously provided documents, including bank statements. Also, we visually verify client’s business activity, which allows us to eliminate almost any potential frauds and extortions in this area. No bank on the Polish market operates so fast while maintaining such high-security standards in parallel.
Which markets do you operate in and what are your plans for future expansion?
At the moment, we run our business in Poland, where we have over 70% market share. At the end of October 2017, we were officially licensed by the National Bank of Romania to operate in Romania and we want to start our operations there in max a few weeks. Our plans are not limited to Romania – we want to expand soon our presence to other countries in the region.
What distinguishes Aforti from other loan originators in the region?
We operate very quickly, much faster than our competition. We are in a position to do that without losing the quality of loans cause we implemented a significant number of automated processes in the area of assessing the customer’s creditworthiness using internally prepared scoring. Also, we are in a position to grant a loan needed to pay off the client’s liabilities in ZUS (Social Insurance Institution) or unpaid taxes. Such purposes of the loan are unacceptable for most of our competition. Allowing that we help entrepreneurs to improve their financials and at the end to enable cooperation with banks. For us, it translates into a growing number of satisfied customers, more recommendations of our services, and finally into better financial results and bigger dividend for our shareholders.
Who is a typical customer of Aforti?
Almost 80% of our clients run their business for more than 24 months, and more than half of them – over 48 months. We do not offer our services to newly established entrepreneurs. The average age of our entrepreneur exceeds 40 years. These people – before starting their own business – have gained experience in other companies. A typical client runs its business as a sole proprietorship, focusing its activity on trade (wholesale and retail), transport, storage or construction.
What are the products presented in your offer?
We offer unsecured loans to the sole proprietorships and limited liability companies. In both cases, the maximum loan value is 150k PLN, and the maximum loan maturity is 36 months. In our product portfolio, there is also mortgage loan and in this case, it is possible to obtain financing up to 500k PLN, LTV up to 70%, for a period of up to 60 months. The average value of granted loans amounts to 86k PLN, and the average maturity is 18 months.
How was 2018 for Aforti and what are your plans for 2019?
2018 was another year of strengthening of Aforti Finance position in the area of B2B loans for small and medium enterprises.
In 2018, over 3,820 loan applications were submitted for an amount of PLN 479 million, which means over 50% growth comparing to the previous year. In terms of sales numbers, we granted loans worth over PLN 59 million, beating last year record in terms of volumes and the number of loans.
Currently, we are the leader on the Polish B2B loan market (loans granted by non-banking financial institutions) and we intend to maintain this position in the coming years. Talking about further expansion and business development – in November 2018 we’ve obtained a license granted by the National Bank of Romania allowing us to start our operations in this country. Likewise, as soon as possible we want to start our operations in other “low entrance costs” countries in the region.
What are the benefits for investors to invest in loans issued by Aforti?
From the 3 most important features of every investment (profitability, liquidity, risk level), we put all our efforts on the last one: lowering risk. As described on previous pages, before we grant a loan – we thoroughly verify involved risks including the activities carried out by the customer. Our target is limiting to the minimum or even eliminating the risk of frauds. Nevertheless, we understand that running a business always involves risk – so even the best scoring systems will not provide a 100% loan repayment guarantee. Therefore, regardless of the period for which we provide financing, we give to the investor a guarantee of buying back loans offered on the Debitum platform in case, when a borrower is more than 60 days late with the payment of their obligations to Aforti Finance. As a result, investors limit their risk level to the risk related to Aforti Finance, not to the borrower.
What are your expectations for cooperation with Debitum Network?
The most important for Aforti Finance is to build long-lasting and fruitful cooperation. As we plan to significantly extend the size of our operations, we need to be supported by a partner, who understands our needs, is technically and operationally advanced, and also has the scale of the business big enough to secure our financing needs. We believe Debitum Network can become such a partner.
The first assets from Aforti Finance are coming soon
The first assets from Aforti Finance will soon be uploaded on Debitum Network platform and investors can start investing in them. The assets will be short term with an annual interest of 11%-12%. All of them have a buyback guarantee. Got interested? Be the first one to invest in the assets and earn attractive interest.
Disclaimer: Investments in financial products are subject to market risk and any investment should only be done with risk capital. The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.