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Additional RSI guarantee agreement in Italy for innovative businesses

    Date: 31 January 2014
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and ICCREA BancaImpresa (Iccrea banking Group) have signed a guarantee agreement to support lending to innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as Small Mid-caps under an initiative funded by the European Commission.

The new agreement signed under the Risk Sharing Instrument (RSI) initiative allows Iccrea BancaImpresa to provide innovative companies in Italy with access to a total of EUR 120m of financing until end 2015 with support of the 50% guarantee offered by the EIF. This enables Iccrea BancaImpresa to offer innovative companies additional financing at favourable conditions.

This is the fifth RSI agreement in Italy and the 24th in Europe so far, bringing the total loan finance available to innovative businesses across the EU under this initiative to well above EUR 2bn. The agreement signed today will help the bank to finance innovative businesses across the country.

Commenting on the signature at the IBI headquarters in Rome, EIF Head of Guarantees, Securitisation & Microfinance Alessandro Tappi said: “I am pleased to be signing this Risk Sharing Instrument (RSI) agreement in Italy, under a DG Research and Innovation FP7 programme in support of innovative small and medium sized enterprises with Iccrea BancaImpresa. This additional agreement in Italy will ensure that much needed finance will be quickly channelled to a number of innovation driven businesses across the country.”

“We are pleased to sign this agreement with the European Investment Fund” Iccrea BancaImpresa General Manager Enrico Duranti said “both because in this way we can provide the Italian Credit Cooperative Banks with further resources to finance the innovation, strengthening the role of the Banks for the development of the SMEs, and because the amount guaranteed is equal to the highest granted in Italy. This is another proof of the good level of cooperation that we have reached with the EIF on behalf of the Credit Cooperative Banks”.

The aim of the RSI Facility is to encourage banks to lend to SMEs and small mid-caps with fewer than 500 employees in need of investment financing and/or operating capital to support research, development and innovation activities, with EU financial support. Banks are being selected by the EIF following a call for expression of interest for financial intermediaries across Europe.


About Risk-Sharing Instrument (RSI) under FP7

The RSI facility aims to encourage banks to provide loans of up to €7.5 million to SMEs and small mid-caps undertaking research, development or innovation, and seeking finance for investments and/or working capital. The RSI is a joint initiative of the EIF, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission. It is supported by the European Union under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) and uses EIF's risk-taking capacity. It is part of, and complements, the existing Risk Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF), managed by the EIB.

Under this facility, the European Investment Fund (EIF) is providing guarantees to banks and leasing companies that lend to SMEs and Small Mid-Caps. The guarantee covers, upon default, up to 50% of the outstanding amount of each loan. Some 25 or so banks are expected to be involved in the pilot phase, allowing the RSI to reach a total loan volume of up to €2.5 billion channelled to innovative SMEs and Small Mid-caps.

The call is open to financial or credit institutions, established and operating in the EU and/or countries associated to FP7, including, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, Switzerland, Israel, Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, the Faroe Islands and Moldova.

About the EIF

The European Investment Fund's (EIF) central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance.  EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. EIF’s total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 7.9bn at end 2013. With investments in over 435 funds, EIF is a leading player in European venture due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in high-tech and early-stage segments. EIF’s guarantees loan portfolio totalled over EUR 5.6bn in over 300 operations at end 2013, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.


Iccrea BancaImpresa – the Corporate Bank of Credito Cooperativo - offers consultation, services,

and financial solutions to SMEs. Today Iccrea BancaImpresa presides over all areas of leasing: Through the financing, Iccrea BancaImpresa supports company development projects, also agricultural, and provides businesses with consulting services in the fields of mergers & acquisitions, and foreign trade with support for imports/exports and internationalization. Through its subsidiaries BCC Factoring and BCC Lease, it offers factoring, leasing services, and suppliers channel as well. The range of services is completed with securities derivatives, insurance, and other benefits

On September 2013 there are, in Italy, 388 Credit Cooperative Banks, with 4,455 branches. They operate in 101 Italian provinces and 2,706 municipalities. The total funding is 190 billion of euros (+5.3%, compared with a -3.5% of the Italian banking system), the loans are 136 billion of euros (-0.9%, compared with the -3.5% of the Italian banking system – but if you include the loans by the second level banks, the amount of loans is 149 billion of euros). The loans to corporate customers reach 88.9 billion of euros (-1.4%, compared with -4.5% of the Italian banking system – but if you include the loans provided by the second level banks, the amount is 99.8 billion of euros). The total equity (capital + reserve) is 20 billion of euros (+1.8%).

Press contacts:

EIF: David Yormesor
Tel.: +352 42 66 88 346, e-mail: d.yormesor@eif.org

Gruppo bancario Iccrea:

Marco Bellabarba

Communication Department

Tel. +39 06-7207.2004


Iccrea BancaImpresa:

Laura Roselli

Business Communication Manager

Tel. +39 06-7207.7174



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