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Money Moves


This is a fortnightly series of articles focusing on the banking and financial industries

Advantageous personal loans

by Charles Mak

Lincoln Chang, head of marketing and distribution, PrimeCredit Limited
Photo: Johnny Kwok

As the economy goes from strength to strength, consumers have become more willing both to spend and to take out personal loans. Having anticipated this, banks and financial institutions have therefore been launching numerous innovative schemes to meet the renewed demand and provide the most attractive terms.

Among these are the Casanova, Collector and Good Father loan schemes launched by PrimeCredit Limited, which are being aggressively promoted with extensive print and TV advertising campaigns. As Lincoln Chang, the company's head of marketing and distribution explains, "All these advertisements are just dramatic ways of presenting some of the needs in loan services. At the end of the day, all of them come down to one simple element – money."

The key message to get across, he says, is that the company can offer customers tailor-made loan schemes to meet all their financial needs. "One of our objectives is to alert customers to choose a scheme not by its name but by what it offers," he notes.

The two types most commonly available are fixed instalment loans and revolving credit. "Whichever you choose depends very much on your own needs," Mr Chang says, adding that what PrimeCredit can now offer is probably the best customers can expect to find. "Our fixed monthly instalment schemes certainly help customers to plan ahead, and no penalty fee will be charged for early settlement," he says. In addition, a personalised interest rate is determined by one's own credit record, which enhances fairness and practicality.

"The main difference between us and the major banking institutions is that we don't operate with a centralised approval system," Mr Chang says. "Individual branches determine whether or not to approve a loan application and that allows us to complete the process within 90 minutes, as promised to customers."

Besides that, specific schemes are designed to offer flexibility and convenience by including a 14-day grace period, which customers can request during the application process. "Three days before the date the autopay is processed, you can choose to delay payment for a maximum of 14 days," Mr Chang says. "Customers don't have to worry about any penalties and they will still have a clean record with the bank."

Although Hong Kong's loan market is generally regarded as mature, there is room for development. "The penetration rate for loan services is still low and there are many schemes and products available," Mr Chang says. He adds that people now realise they can borrow money to fulfil their dreams rather than just for imminent needs. There is also a growing trend to take out loans in order to pay off overdue credit card bills. "The public now realise that they pay sky-high interest rates to credit card companies and that getting a loan is a feasible and economic way of managing a financial record," he concludes.


Taken from Career Times 26 August 2005, p. A2

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