Again in 2014 the Intesa Sanpaolo Group finalised important agreements with trade associations for the sustainable growth of businesses. Amongst others, of particular importance is the fifth cooperation agreement between the Intesa Sanpaolo Group and Piccola Industria Confindustria, ”Una crescita possibile” (Possible Growth). The partnership envisages the allocation of a further 10 billion euro, in addition to 35 billion euro allocated under the previous agreements, as well as a programme focusing on measures targeting growth, innovation and start-ups, exports and internationalisation, supported by the services and business opportunities that Intesa Sanpaolo, as Official Global Banking Partner to Expo 2015, can offer corporate customers for the entire duration of the event.
Among the tools developed to encourage dialogue between corporate customers and the Bank, the “Modello diagnostico di autovalutazione finanziaria” (Financial Self-Assessment Diagnostics Model) is being kept available. It is an online tool available to all Confindustria members which provides companies with a personal risk profile to identify the best growth strategies. Since its launch in October 2010 more than 7,600 users have accessed the diagnostics model, with 428 new users in 2014.
The ABI Credit Agreement, which aims to guarantee the availability of sufficient funds to SMEs which, despite reporting liquidity tensions, in any event indicate positive prospects for development or going concern assumptions, was extended to 31 December 2014. This agreement allowed access to certain benefits with loan suspension and extension measures and two targeted credit lines: “Italy Investment Projects” dedicated to SMEs which, despite the economic crisis, have continued to make new investments and “Public Administration Receivables”, whereby participating banks made special credit lines available for the provision of advance or discounting transactions.
In 2014, the transactions subject to suspension numbered almost 8,000 for a total residual debt amount of over 2.5 billion euro and around 338 million euro of extended debt. For the extensions, the accepted applications were more than 1,000 for a total residual/deferred debt of over 360 million, while recapitalisation loans were 28 for a total amount of approximately 7 million euro. Intesa Sanpaolo disbursed over 4,000 loans in 2014 through the “Italy Investments Project” for a total of more than 1,200 million euro.
Support to the public administration and solutions to guarantee liquidity to credit companies
The factoring of receivables to the Public Administration is a rather complex and at the same time highly relevant issue, especially in view of the large volume of receivables that companies claim against central and local public Entities and the major payment delays accumulated in that regard. Again as part of the ABI Credit Agreement, as at 31 December 2014, 222 SME applications were received relating to the factoring of Public Administration receivables for a total of 6 million euro.
Youth employment and innovative start-ups
The EIB and Intesa Sanpaolo have signed the first joint loan in Italy dedicated to creating new jobs for young people in small and medium enterprises, mid-caps and innovative start-ups.
Making available a total of 240 million euro, the transaction responds to the request in June 2013 from the European Council in Brussels to activate “without delay” all possible means to combat the growing phenomenon of unemployment, especially among young people. The transaction includes a credit line of 120 million euro for the creation of new jobs for young people aged 15 to 29 in SMEs and mid-caps and in support of the creation and development of innovative start-ups. In this area, 5 million euro was granted in 2014. Another 120 million euro credit line was allocated to finance investments by small and medium enterprises in the social sector (healthcare, education and urban renewal). 14 loans totalling 37.5 million euro were granted in 2014 (see the chapter “Financial inclusion and economic empowerment” @).
With regard to the promotion of new high quality enterprises, the AdottUP project, created in 2013, continued to operate also in 2014.
This is the Piccola Industria Confindustria programme for the adoption of start-ups, of which Intesa Sanpaolo is a strategic partner. AdottUp turns the best entrepreneurial ideas into sustainable businesses thanks to the training provided by established companies which become their “tutors” and guide them through their development.
Intesa Sanpaolo gathers business idea applications, submits them to a joint Committee (Intesa Sanpaolo and Confindustria) which evaluates them, selects them and provides high level training and work areas, and creates the “Vetrina delle migliori idee” (Showcase of the best ideas)@. This is a dedicated area on Confindustria’s website which provides members with an overview of the best projects, thus enabling them to review the selected ideas and apply to become their “tutors”. In 2014, 69 new start-ups were assessed, 15 contacted for further studies, 8 selected for training and 12 included in the showcase. 8 training days were held.
219 start-ups have been assessed so far, around 80 have been contacted for further study, approximately 45 have been selected to attend training, 3 courses for a total of 32 days have been held, and 54 start-ups have been included in the showcase.
With the 2014-2015 Intesa Sanpaolo-Confindustria agreement, AdottUp was relaunched with a view to expansion envisaging action not only on supplying innovation but also on the demand side, facilitating matching between innovative SMEs (not just start-ups) and the SMEs that need such innovation to increase their competitive levels.
Among the lending tools in support of new enterprises, Intesa Sanpaolo also makes the “NeoImpresa Loan” available, specifically for medium/long-term financing to start-ups.
Agreements with Confidi and Trade Associations to aid credit access
Intesa Sanpaolo cooperates with the major Confidi organisations that issue guarantees (with 50% coverage on average) in favour of the Bank, facilitating businesses’ access to short-term and medium/long-term financing to business and production activities.
In 2014, 21,995 loans guaranteed by Confidi were granted for a total of over 1.6 billion euro. The stock of loans guaranteed by the guarantee consortia as at 31 December 2014 was over 3.8 billion euro (for a total of 71,420 positions guaranteed).
The role of Confidi with regard to the use of the Guarantee Fund pursuant to Italian Law 662/96 is important. The acquisition in the form of counter-guarantee of a State guarantee of last resort allows a reduction in capital absorption for Banks and Confidi, with a positive impact in terms of price and/or greater volume of credit granted.
The Intesa Sanpaolo Group’s International Subsidiary Banks are also very active in subsidised lending to small business and SME customers. For example, in 2014 Banka Koper in Slovenia developed a series of loans guaranteed by the Slovenian Fund for businesses. The initiative aims to support investments to ensure the growth of businesses and the development of high value added activities. In 2014, the Bank contributed with loans for 7.5 million euro.
Employment for women
Intesa Sanpaolo has also adopted another important memorandum of understanding signed by ABI, the Equal Opportunities Department of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Economic Development and the major industrial and trade associations (Confindustria, Confapi, Rete Imprese Italia, Alleanza delle Cooperative Italiane) which offers a framework of action to facilitate access to credit for businesses operated by women in the various phases of a company's lifecycle or the working life of freelance professionals. In adopting this agreement, with a range of services known as “Business Gemma”, Intesa Sanpaolo has made available 600 million euro until 31 December 2015 for businesses run by women and for female freelancers. In 2014 the first 16 loans were granted amounting to 365,800 euro. This new loan also offers the chance to benefit, once during the repayment period, from the special segment guarantee of the “SME Guarantee Fund” dedicated to businesses operated by women, from up to twelve months’ suspension of the principal portion of instalments on the loan for maternity leave, for serious illnesses also of the spouse or children or for a disabling illness of a parent, blood relative or relative by marriage up to the third degree, provided that the person lives with the applicant. The Business Gemma services also include an insurance policy that offers insurance cover and welfare services aimed at addressing the problems of balancing private and professional life. The areas of action envisaged are maternity, assistance, aid and legal protection in times of difficulty and illness. At the end of 2014 there were more than 1,400 existing policies with 37 new contracts signed during the year.
Banca Intesa Beograd in Serbia provides subsidised financing for enterprises run by women in the province of Vojvodina. The facilities include loans to purchase equipment for setting up small businesses and for the development of start-ups created by unemployed women. Approximately 216,000 euro was granted in 2014.
In Croatia, the collaboration continued between PBZ and Adria Women Association @ for the development of female enterprises through dedicated training initiatives, online magazines and weekly newsletters. PBZ sponsors events, participates in training sessions and contributes to the preparation of e-learning materials.
In Slovakia, VÚB Banka entered the fifth consecutive year of the project launched with the women’s magazine “Emma” aimed at training future female entrepreneurs, including new graduates, women on maternity leave and unemployed women. The courses, held by bank managers as well, were attended by 17 women.