Cetelem, the European leader in consumer finance, and Thai Farmers Bank, the second Thai private banking network, announced on October 29 2001 in Bangkok, the signature of a partnership agreement in the consumer finance sector in Thailand. This agreement, operational as from mid-November 2001, will give Cetelem the opportunity to broaden the scope of its business in Thailand, through its subsidiary Cetelem Thailand Ltd, and Thai Farmers Bank to consolidate its development on the consumer finance market.
A first in Thailand
This agreement represents a major breakthrough. It is the first partnership to bring together a major player on the Thai banking market and a foreign specialised operator.
According to the terms of this agreement, Cetelem Thailand Ltd will offer Thai Farmers Bank’s customers a whole range of consumer finance products : the first product to be marketed is an individual loan destined to finance home improvements, holidays, small motorbikes, medical and education fees. Other products, such as revolving loans will be marketed in the near future.
Thai Farmers Bank will rely on Cetelem Thailand Ltd’s know-how and expertise to develop its consumer finance business, by offering products and services adapted to the Thai consumers’ needs. These products will be marketed by the TFB network, mainly in urban zones, as from mid-November 2001.
A major step for Cetelem’s development in Asia
Number 1 in Europe in consumer finance, Cetelem manages 19,4 billion outstandings end of 2000. Over the last 48 years Cetelem has been the special partner to trade and supports the growth of major retail groups. It is also a partner of reference for banking establishments and insurance companies to whom it brings an acknowledged know-how in matters of credit.
Cetelem has been conducting for more than 15 years an ambitious international development policy that has brought it into 21 countries. In Asia, Cetelem has a foothold in three countries : Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
Cetelem Thailand Ltd, Cetelem’s subsidiary that started operating in July 2000, now employs over 200 people and proposes its credit range to approximately 400 retailers. Present in the country’s 4 major cities thanks to its partners in trade, Cetelem Thailand Ltd does business with the major local retail groups (Home Pro, Data IT, IT City, Future AV, Megastore…). Following the world-wide partnership with Carrefour, Cetelem collaborates with the 14 Carrefour stores now established in Thailand.
This partnership with TFB marks a major step in Cetelem’s development in Thailand. It also represents a first illustration in Asia of Cetelem’s partnership strategy with banking networks, already forcefully established in Europe.
Thai Farmers Bank (TFB), Thailand’s second private bank
Founded in 1945 by the Lansam family, TFB represents 15% of the local market. It has 530 branches throughout Thailand and employs 11 400 people. It boasts 4 million customers and is the most important issuer of bank credit cards. It was the first bank, as early as November 2000, to offer its services on the Internet.
The partnership with Cetelem will enable TFB to complete its range of products and consolidate its image in Thailand of a modern, creative and pioneering financial institution.