A leader of Central European receivables management market spreads its wings

Originally Published in June 2017

KRUK, founded in Poland, is the largest receivables management company in Central Europe. Founded in 1998, the company operates in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Romania, Slovakia and Spain with plans to expand throughout Europe. At the end of 2015, KRUK managed 3.3 million cases and purchased 86 debt portfolios.

The receivables management company offers a range of services, such as debt purchasing and offering outsourcing for business  partners in collection processes. Most of the company’s revenue comes from purchasing and collecting overdue consumer debt portfolios, as well as contingency receivables collection. KRUK focuses on pursuing the claims of financial, institutional and corporate clients. In addition to managing the receivables of banks, credit intermediaries, insurance companies and leasing companies, KRUK also works with fixed-line and mobile telephone operators, cable TV providers, digital platform providers, utilities and fast-moving consumer goods companies.

KRUK wasn’t a receivables management company when it was first founded. Piotr Krupa and his business partner Wojciech Kuźnicki started their own publishing house in Wrocław. They named the business  KRUK (Raven). After writing books with comments on legal changes, various companies began to approach the two in search of advice for dealing with customers who failed to pay their instalments. Rather than just counselling, the young law graduates decided to take matters into their own hands and started their own receivables management company.

Suitable repayment proposals and being supportive are major components of KRUK’s business model.

In 2008, Krupa and his associates developed a pro-settlement strategy to alleviate the stress of falling into debt. By understanding that debt can pile up due to job loss, illness or poor calculation of ability to pay bills, KRUK’s approach is to distribute debt in instalments matched to the needs of the indebted people – KRUK’s clients. This creates a “win-win” for both the creditor and the person in debt.

Suitable repayment proposals and being supportive are major components of KRUK’s business model. In addition to offering plans for debt repayment in instalments, the company also calculates manageable rates and provides individualized counselling by phone, online and in person.

The company says the key to its success is treating people with dignity and respect to help them out of a difficult situation rather than judging them for struggling with financial problems. To help clients overcome their debt, KRUK first aims to eliminate the stigma associated with receivables management companies. They open a dialogue by providing advice on budgets, calculating instalments and renegotiate agreements if changes occur in the client’s life. Dedicated to educating about  budgeting and overcoming debt, KRUK initiated Day Without Debt to encourage people to examine their household finances, manage a budget and focus on repaying their debt.

KRUK is the leader in three debt market segments—unsecured consumer debt, mortgage-backed debt and corporate debt. The company has been quoted on the Warsaw Stock Exchange since 2011.

After the company expanded to Germany, Spain and Italy, Krupa said “Based on the experiences in our founding country Poland, the core of our business approach is amicable settlement, as well as respect and sensitivity for the consumers. Being the market leader in Central Europe, we aim to lead this attractive market as well.”