Following the extensive response from the FCI members globally, FCI in the Netherlands released the final world factoring statistics. This 2021 report indicates that the Factoring and Receivables Finance Industry volume witnessed a significant growth of +12.6 % in 2021 after the devastating impact of COVID-19 in 2020, which reported a staggering decline of -6.5 % in volume, the single worst year reported by FCI since it began reporting the global statistics in the late 1970s. Compared with the previous year’s EUR 2,724 billion, the 2021 estimated volume of EUR 3,069 billion represents the first double-digit increase reported in over two decades. In addition, 2021 marks the end of a challenging period where businesses were interrupted due to the severity of the virus. Each region was affected slightly differently, and the so-called ‘return to normal’ has been different, with some showing more progress than others.
Europe is the largest contributor to the industry representing around 69 % of the global volume of EUR 2,118 billion has shown an overall increase of close to 14.8 %. From a factoring volume perspective, top five players include France (+12.8 %), United Kingdom (+20.4 %), Germany (+12.5 %), Italy (+10.0 %) and Spain (+9.4 %). Some markets exceeded expectations, resulting in astounding growth rates like Poland (+25.6 %), Romania (+19.3 %), Russia (+62.4 %), Bulgaria (+54.5 %), and the Czech Republic (+32.0 %). Turkey is another significant player in Europe showed in 2021, for two consecutive years another decline, from 18.9 billion in 2020 to 15.9 billion in 2021, representing a drop of -15.9 %. However, Turkey suffered from a significant depreciation in its currency last year.
The Asia Pacific region represents approximately 24 % of the global volume of EUR 726 billion, which experienced an increase of +4,2 % over 2020. In 2021, the volumes of EUR 538 billion related to the Greater China region, including Mainland China (+2.7 %), Hong Kong (-3.8 %), and Taiwan (+15.3 %). Japan displayed a growth rate of +14.5 % and reached EUR 59 billion. India experienced the most explosive growth rate of +141 % with EUR 8.6 billion.
America, which was the hardest-hit region globally in 2020, showed a remarkable recovery in 2021. The regional volume, which represents a 6 % share of the total world factoring volume with an overall figure of EUR 183 billion experienced a double-digit increase of approximately +22 % after a fall in 2020 of -30 %.
South and Central America, with close to a 3 % share of the total world factoring volume of EUR 86 billion witnessed a slight increase of +3 %. The top three players in this region are Chile (+8.9 %), Brazil (+11.4 %), and Mexico (18.3 %).
North America, with its 3 % share of the total world factoring volume of EUR 97 billion, displayed a marked improvement increasing +45.7 % compared to 2020. That compares with a reduction in volume in 2020 of -23 %. The US retail sector in 2020 was severely impacted by the pandemic with numerous bankruptcies reported that year, however, 2021 witnessed a significant turnaround in part due to the strong support by the US government stimulus programs.
Africa represents a 1 % share of the total world factoring volume. The total market adds up to a total of EUR 32 billion indicating also a significant growth rate of 28 % compared to 2020. South Africa, the largest market accounting for over 80 % of the entire volume on the continent witnessed a staggering increase of 30 %, certainly an indication that the African market looks ready to return to its strong growth trajectory in the foreseeable future.
Considering the continuation of a challenging global environment stemming from the pandemic, the FCI market survey results demonstrated the strength and resilience of their industry in 2021, with a 12.6% growth rate over 2020.
Source: The press release by FCI dated May 18, 2022