Thursday, July 25, 2024
HomeEconomy"The future of credit will go through credit brokers."

“The future of credit will go through credit brokers.”

Published on

DS Intermediários de Crédito is growing at double-digit rates, has 170 stores and 1,400 employees in Portugal, and has set a target of reaching $3 billion in intermediary credit in two or three years. The next step will be internationalization.

DS Intermediários de Crédito recorded 350 million euros of written credit in the first quarter of the year, representing a 60% increase in turnover. Last year as a whole, it increased by 30% to 1,065 million euros of written credit. In an interview with Jornal Económico, Marta Almeida, director and national coordinator of DS Intermediários de Crédito, the brand of Grupo Decisões e Soluções specialized in providing credit advisory and intermediation services, aims to reach three billion euros of intermediation credit, within two or three years, representing about 30% of the credit intermediation market. Then it wants to cross borders. “We want to continue growing in the country and take the next step towards internationalizing the brand,” she says.

How has the credit brokerage business evolved in Portugal?

The activity of credit intermediation has gained increasing importance in recent years, especially in recent years, due to the economic and financial situation of the country, which directly affects household income. In these more challenging contexts, there is naturally a greater demand for personal and consumer credit as well as for real estate credit. For these operations, there has been a growing demand for the services of credit intermediaries, who provide support in terms of advice to individuals and families, in order to help them obtain the best conditions for their new loans, or to renegotiate loans already existing.

Today, credit brokers are considered true partners of banking agencies. For example, according to data from the National Association of Certified Credit Brokers [ANICA]Credit brokers are responsible for selling between 70% and 90% of housing loans from the main banks in Portugal.

In the same sense, credit intermediation has become more regulated – an example of this is the legal regime that regulates the activity of credit intermediaries, supervised by the Bank of Portugal, which came into force at the beginning of 2018 – but we believe that as they gain greater importance in the financial and banking sector, it is necessary to continue this legislative process. It is a way to avoid stagnation in the profession, allowing credit intermediation professionals to continue following the standards implemented by the Bank of Portugal and the evolution and dignity of this sector.

See also  House payments rise again in May, reaching 300 euros. And the rise in interest rates is far from over… - Executive Summary

Did you benefit from the cancellation of investment in bank branches?

Today we know that the future of credit granting will involve credit brokers who have a set of tools that differentiate them from direct contact with the banking entity, not to mention the possibility of integrating these tools with different banks. But we believe that credit brokers are first and foremost true partners of banks. Just take a look at the data shared by ANICA.

On the other hand, for banks, this is a way to win more business, as these professionals are very focused on the business, which represents a controlled investment, recoverable in a short period of time – and also a way to reduce fixed costs, with employees and sales outlets.

Furthermore, the credit intermediary also plays a very important educational role, specifically in promoting financial literacy, in partnership with other entities, i.e. schools, financial entities, etc. In this context, DS Intermediários de Crédito created, in 2022, the Children's Financial Literacy Project “Os Mini-Heróis da Poupança”, through which it works to promote financial literacy for children in several schools in the country. Through this project, we have already held dozens of events, which have reached thousands of students and the educational community in several schools throughout the country.

How did DS evolve?

DS Intermediários de Crédito was launched in 2017 with the clear objective of, on the one hand, supporting the population, providing advice and support to individual clients and families, to find the best financing solutions or negotiate the conditions they can obtain, both in real estate credit and consumer credit, and on the other hand, being another project of Geupo DS with job opportunities.

Over the last seven years, we have focused on offering a distinctive, close and personal service, which has allowed us to grow from year to year, strengthening our presence in the market and being currently a reference in credit brokerage in Portugal, with a very great experience of the partners involved in the financial and banking sector.

In the first three months of this year, we reached a total of around EUR 350 million of written credit, representing a turnover growth of 60% compared to the same period last year. During this period, we signed 10 new contracts to open stores and opened 10 new units in the country. In total, we now have around 170 stores nationwide, including open units and those in the process of opening.

See also  A group of creditors tries to stop Coupang's purchase of Farfetch - Observer

At the same time, DS Intermediários de Crédito is also an opportunity for future employees who want to join us and develop on a personal and professional level. Today, we have a team of 1,400 employees nationwide, results that demonstrate the clear expansion of the brand and the focus we maintain on continuing to grow and offer the best possible service, as well as the clear preference of the people who have joined us, because they see our brand as a reference in the sector.

Is the housing crisis and the measures that have been proposed an opportunity for activity?

The measures announced by the government are welcome and will undoubtedly be an exceptional support, however we believe that there is still a way to go before it is possible to change the model between real estate supply and demand, especially in the large urban centres, where demand has been greater.

The supply shortage will not be resolved immediately, so demand will remain, leading to a continuous rise in property prices in Portugal.

To give you an idea, in the first quarter of this year alone, DS Intermediários de Crédito registered more than 50% more new housing loans compared to the same period last year. As for housing credit transfers, they increased by 48% compared to the same period last year.

On the one hand, in the current context, there are more Portuguese who want to renegotiate their loans so that they can cover their expenses, and on the other hand, there is still a great demand for housing loans.

In this scenario, challenges still exist, and credit brokers play a crucial role in providing advice on obtaining housing loans, or renegotiating existing credits, helping participants in this process make informed decisions that allow for the greatest possible savings adjusted to your needs.

What are your views on the development of the activity?

The credit broker plays a fundamental role in Portuguese society, contributing through this concrete responsibility to economic growth, business development and the realization of personal projects, in addition to the increasing responsibility of credit brokers in promoting the financial culture of consumers.

See also  Ireland's strange miracle

There is a need for greater definition in the profession. It is important that Banco de Portugal defines, more specifically, some rules, with training being one of the priorities. At the same time, it will be necessary for credit brokers to invest in their training on an ongoing basis, to be properly informed of all the rules implemented by the entities that regulate credit brokerage, and to monitor the evolution of the activity, thus providing the best service to clients.

We believe that this activity will continue to evolve, which is why at DS Intermediários de Crédito we will continue to invest heavily in the training of those who join us, technically and commercially, but also behaviorally, in skills such as leadership and personal development. In parallel, we will continue to develop the area of ​​financial literacy, which we consider to be of great importance and to which credit intermediaries can contribute significantly.

What are DS's goals for this year and next?

In the next two or three years, we want to reach three billion euros of intermediary credit. Capturing around 30% of the country's credit intermediation market is also a goal. This means that we will help more people and families to have the best conditions for their credit, and as much savings as possible, adjusted to their needs.

We believe these are achievable goals, as we have excellent professionals in our teams, continue to recruit and expand the network, and as DS Group, we will create a unified structure with over 20 years of experience in the market.

As has been the case until now, we want to continue growing in the country and take the next step towards internationalizing the brand. At the moment, we have the ambition to reach 200 stores in Portugal by the end of the year. We will continue to build on our history with a clear mission to support the community.

Latest articles

NEC is developing technology that measures sea level from greater distances.

a NEC Company Developed sea ​​level measurement technology Highly accurate, from long distances and...

Archaeology: – Mysterious face causes a stir

A mysterious face carved into stone was...

More like this

NEC is developing technology that measures sea level from greater distances.

a NEC Company Developed sea ​​level measurement technology Highly accurate, from long distances and...

Archaeology: – Mysterious face causes a stir

A mysterious face carved into stone was...