For some time the Bank has envisaged means of renegotiating mortgage terms in order to meet the needs of households asking to adapt instalments to their changed income-generation capacity. Over 5,000 renegotiations were completed in 2014, for a corresponding residual debt amount of more than 540 million euro.
In 2014 new solutions were created to help households in difficulty: “Rata Leggera” allows customers who have contracted mortgage loans for which the repayment period has begun at least twelve months prior and who are up to three months behind with their payments to suspend the principal portion for a maximum period of twelve months. Conceived as a means of “rewarding” selected customers with a sound credit profile, Rata Leggera was expanded with a view to making it available to customers also as a solution for overcoming temporary economic difficulties. Suspension of the principle portion of the instalments is therefore a renegotiation tool that can be used to meet unexpected expenses, overcoming temporary economic difficulties rather than freeing up household budget resources set aside for consumption and investments intended to improve their lifestyles. There were almost 2,000 renegotiations in 2014 for a total residual debt of more than 167 million euro.
In the first half of the year, Intesa Sanpaolo also launched “Casa Insieme”, an initiative aimed at revitalising the real-estate market that enhances the saleability of newly built properties financed by the Bank by bringing together buyers and sellers of new homes through measures focusing on financial services and communication.
Through specific contractual arrangements, the Bank provides the construction companies amongst its customers with access to communication initiatives aimed at increasing the visibility of their work sites, commercially supporting them through its branches - also with periodic site visits by a branch manager - and providing subsidised financial terms for those purchasing homes at participating work sites.
Thanks to “Casa Insieme”, builders can cut the amount of time needed to sell their properties, reduce their entrepreneurial risk and free up lines of credit to be used for new real-estate initiatives, while retail customers can benefit from more favourable conditions than standard list prices, simplified criteria for access to credit and, in some cases, contributions from the builders (lower instalments and exemption from administrative expenses).
Since the launch of the initiatives over 100 construction companies have become members of Casa Insieme.
As part of the memorandum of understanding with ABI, in partnership with the Government and Consumer Associations, once again in 2014 more than 1,700 suspension applications from households in temporary economic difficulty were accepted. Total suspensions, at the end of 2014, included more than 3,100 mortgages for a total residual debt value of over 266 million euro.
In order to support laid-off employees, Intesa Sanpaolo has made use of the “Anticipazione Sociale” product since 2005. Italian companies continue to make recourse to extraordinary lay-off payments and employees often receive the indemnity from INPS, the Italian Social Security Authority, after 7/8 months following the request.
Anticipazione Sociale offers the opportunity to open a time-release credit facility with particularly favourable terms. It can be used until INPS credits the worker’s current account with the salary integration. Through agreements signed with the Authorities and local institutions in Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and Veneto, the worker does not bear any charges as these are covered by the project partners. In 2014, 4,600 households were given access to a total of 21.7 million euro.
With regard to initiatives of the International Subsidiary Banks to encourage first home purchases by young people and newlyweds, Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania has created a line of loans which, in cases of difficulty, offers the option of missing an instalment payment three times during the life of the loan. More than 4.8 million euro was granted in 2014.
The Slovakian VÚB Banka has also continued to grant subsidised loans for home purchases to young people (maximum 35 years of age) with limited income. The “fleximortgage young” line offers discounts on the instalment interest rate borne by the Bank and the Slovakian Government, payment suspension options or restructuring of instalments. More than 222.4 million euro was granted in 2014.
Already since 2013 Banca Intesa Beograd in Serbia has been making loans available with insurance against job loss or disability. The loan offers the option of delaying payment of the instalment five times during the repayment period. 53.1 million euro was granted in 2014.
VÚB Banka in Slovakia has created a loan for small construction companies which, in partnership with municipal authorities, envisages the construction of apartments for rent with support from a state housing fund set up for social housing initiatives. In 2014, the Bank granted over 1.8 million euro.