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Italy: €170 million for SMEs and mid-caps via a new guaranteed loan platform

    Date: 15 March 2022
  • The European Investment Fund (EIF) will invest €50 million for the direct acquisition of securities that will populate the new guaranteed loan origination platform.
  • The remaining €120 million will be provided by partners in the initiative and Italian institutional investors.
  • Part of the securitised portfolio will meet the criteria for climate transition and environmental sustainability.
  • Liquidity for SMEs and mid-caps, with guarantees provided by the Guarantee Fund for SMEs.

IGLOO — a new Italian guaranteed loan origination platform — is aiming to provide €170 million to offer new opportunities for growth and financing for at least 800 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps in Italy, with a particular focus on criteria relating to climate transition and environmental sustainability. The platform is already active and will be unveiled on 15 March. This is the first securitisation project for state-guaranteed loans guaranteed supported by the European Investment Fund (EIF) in Italy. It is being promoted by the non-banks Gruppo MutuiOnline and Gruppo NSA.

The EIF will participate by means of a €50 million investment in a securitisation operation that will provide liquidity to Italian businesses. The remaining €120 million will be provided by partners in the initiative and Italian institutional investors.

The securitisation operation has been structured by Société Générale on a portfolio of loans originated by NSA SRL (a credit brokerage firm) and NSA spa, a company that manages the entire process for MCC and SACE guarantees, both of which are part of Gruppo NSA. The loans are provided by Centro Finanziamenti SpA (CeFin) and managed operationally by Quinservizi SpA, a subsidiary of Gruppo MutuiOnline SpA. Banca Finint will be present both as sponsor bank and master servicer.

The EIF will use its own resources to directly acquire senior and/or mezzanine securities that will populate the new Italian guaranteed loan origination platform. The project name IGLOO is an acronym of the platform name, Italian Guaranteed Loan Origination platfOrm.

The platform is the first securitisation initiative in Italy that is intended to create an alternative financing channel via a ramp-up structure, to provide loans to some 800 SMEs and mid-caps over a one-year horizon. It is based on the credit mediation capacity of NSA for the provision of new loans, and on the experience of the BPO Division of Gruppo MutuiOnline in managing operational and technological solutions, through Quinservizi as a structure specialised in credit origination and credit servicing with specific reference to the management of MCC and SACE guarantees, and CeFin for assessing borrowers and disbursing of loans. The initiative will act as a catalyst to facilitate the provision of loans to SMEs and the related access to capital markets.

NSA will use the platform to process part of its €37.5 million earmarked for green financing, governed by criteria relating to climate transition and environmental sustainability.

Furthermore, each loan in the securitised portfolio will be covered by the public guarantee of the Guarantee Fund for SMEs, and the criteria for climate action and environmental sustainability defined by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and applied by the EIF.

The EIF initiative, with the assistance of the Guarantee Fund, will provide support to SMEs and mid-caps, and has already been tested by Gruppo MutuiOnline and NSA. The initiative is up and running and in a position to make a timely selection of companies that qualify to receive the funds. The degree of EU involvement in the initiative is increasingly relevant in light of recent events. Even if it is resolved quickly, the war in Ukraine has already generated difficulties for all companies exporting to Russia and Ukraine that will last for the coming two or three years. These businesses need support now (with high guarantees given the riskiness of their situations), namely national and EU political intervention to enable them to plan for profitable economic recovery. The EIF, the Guarantee Fund, new financial resources and new regulatory measures will undoubtedly help to ensure economic continuity and development.

EIB Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti said: “This securitisation operation for state-guaranteed loans, which is the first of its kind backed by the EIF in Italy, will enable us to provide loans to small and medium-sized enterprises to help them mitigate the effects of the pandemic and to support recovery. Last year, we supported the liquidity needs of Italian SMEs to the tune of €6.85 billion, 51% of the EIB Group’s total activity in Italy in 2021.”

EIF Chief Investment Officer Alessandro Tappi said: “The EIF’s mission is to help small and medium-sized enterprises to grow and prosper in Europe. Thanks to this new IGLOO platform, which will see private operators and public institutions working together, Italian companies will benefit from additional funds to back their green and sustainable investments”

CEO of Gruppo MutuiOnline Alessandro Fracassi said: “The BPO Division of Gruppo MutuiOnline has always been at the forefront of innovation in credit operations using technology to enable all market operators to issue and manage loans. This initiative is perfectly in line with our mission to create an ecosystem of cutting-edge modular platforms, with the support of Cefin, our innovation-focused fintech, and Quinservizi, market leader in outsourcing management for end-to-end operational processes in retail and corporate financing. We are proud to be players and ambassadors in initiatives with such high profile institutional partners in Europe, backing economic recovery by supporting SMEs.”

Managing Director of Gruppo NSA Francesco Salemi added: “This new EU project providing Italian businesses with access to credit is an extremely important indication of the European Union's commitment to supporting individual Member States. The Guarantee Fund instrument may turn out to be decisive in this delicate stage of the war to support the sectors that will be most affected by the economic shut-out to and from Russia. Assistance for businesses should also be provided via these new credit access channels for SMEs in order to maximise support, as was the case during the pandemic.”

General information

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses by helping them to access finance. The EIF is also active in supporting climate fund investments and infrastructure with a strong focus on environmental sustainability. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.

Gruppo MutuiOnline (MOL) comprises a group of companies that form a significant presence on the Italian market for the online comparison, promotion and brokering of products from financial institutions and e-commerce aimed at consumers (B2C), via the Broking Division and the world of outsourcing (B2B, B2B2C), via the BPO Division. The BPO Division offers outsourcing management services for complex, critical processes on behalf of banks, financial intermediaries, insurance firms and investment companies. The mission of the BPO Division is to provide long-term support to clients innovating and managing their processes using technological, operational and regulatory platforms of the highest quality.

Gruppo NSA is Italy’s leading credit broker by turnover. Gruppo NSA was established in 2001 and now has more than 300 employees, 25% of whom are consultants, 35 000 client businesses, more than 50 000 operations under management, and 25 partner banks. Gruppo NSA provides SMEs with consultancy and guidance when dealing with banks in relation to financing via the Guarantee Fund, providing end-to-end management of the entire Guarantee Fund process. Other specialist areas include insurance brokerage through NSA SA, and subsidised loans through ALA.

Centro Finanziamenti, a subsidiary of Gruppo MutuiOnline, is an Article 106 financial company operating as a platform for loan development and innovative processes. It is the only credit fintech operator active in both retail and corporate segments. Centro Finanziamenti’s mission is to provide white-label loans enabling investors and financial institutions to invest in credit assets defined and originated according to tailored characteristics, leveraging the full operational and technological capacity of Gruppo MutuiOnline to do so.

Quinservizi, a subsidiary of Gruppo MutuiOnline, is a specialist company and market leader in the end-to-end management of outsourcing (credit origination and credit servicing) of complex retail credit processes (salary loans, personal loans, special-purpose loans, severance loans, cards, electronic payments, and in general all preliminary credit checks) and corporate credit processes (guaranteed and non-guaranteed loans to companies from MCC/Ismea/SACE/ESG, subsidised loans/national resilience and recovery plan, factoring processes) relating to ordinary and structured finance operations.

Press contacts

Lorenzo Squintani, l.squintani@eib.org, tel.: +352 4379 82528, mobile: +352 691 285 772

Website: www.eib.org/press - Press Office +352 4379 21000 press@eib.org

BPO Division Gruppo MutuiOnline

Alfonso Sorrentino, infoBPOMOL@gruppomol.it, tel: +39 348 825 7577

NSA | Press Office

Francesco Priore, f.priore@grupponsa.it, tel: +39 349 1937614

Note: Following the recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, we are updating the relevant EIF.org pages.


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