Non-bank expands Asian footprint

by Julia Corderoy07 May 2015
Pepper has announced it has purchased stakes in two leading consumer finance lenders in Hong Kong and southern China markets, in another step towards developing its Asian network.

The non-bank has purchased a 12% stake in PrimeCredit Limited and Shenzhen PrimeCredit Limited. The acquisition broadens Pepper’s footprint in Asia and includes a team of 541 people in Hong Kong and 118 in Shenzhen focusing on origination of personal loans and credit cards, with assets under management of $US1.15 billiom.

The non-bank says PrimeCredit will extend its already strong Hong Kong market presence into the fast growing Chinese consumer finance market. It will also grow Shenzhen as a hub to build into other regions in China.

PrimeCredit is the leading consumer finance provider in Hong Kong across its peer group of deposit-taking companies and other non-bank financiers. It has a total customer base of more than 132,000. 

“This is an exciting next step in the development of our Asian network. Pepper’s team will work closely with our local strategic partner CTS [China Travel Financial Holdings Co] to provide strategic and operational advice to PrimeCredit management to further expand its microfinance business across the Chinese market,” Pepper’s co-group CEO, Patrick Tuttle said.

“We see great potential to grow them and to add to the products they currently offer. Our 12% stake in both businesses and management role will give us a great insight into what Chinese customers want in terms of products and services,” Pepper’s co-group CEO, Mike Culhane added.

Pepper also owns a mutual savings bank in South Korea which originates residential mortgages and personal loans through a small retail branch network and team of direct sales representatives.