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Gaetano Stio, Chairman of NSA
Milan

Credit relationships between banks and firms will be affected by losses in the coming months.
An issue that we addressed through a liability insurance policy.

“Re-financing the Fondo Centrale di Garanzia, at least with the same amount as last year, will soon emerge as a priority for the Country in order to support enterprises and banks through the tunnel of the pandemic.”
As Chairman of NSA, leader in credit brokerage, Mr. Gaetano Stio has a privileged observation on the state of cash flow in the real economy
“In simple terms, our role is to connect enterprises which need financing with banks who offer credit.”

Boom in applications
During the first 10 months of 2020, the Fondo di Garanzia conducted 1.23 million operations, e.g. 55% of the previous 20 years’ overall activity. In the month of May, the applications approved by the FCG were 364,346, more than 2018 and 2019 combined, as a result of enterprises need for liquidity after the first lock-down and Governmental regulatory innovations. Especially the Decreto Liquidità, which eased access to the Fondo di Garanzia for guaranteed loans to SMEs, professionals and self-employed. “Thanks to the State guarantees banks do not take the risk themselves.” Mr. Stio explains.
For loans up to 30,000 euros the State Guarantee covers 100%, for loans up to 5 million euros: 90%. Beneficiaries now also include insurance brokers, agents and sub-agent, organizations of the voluntary sector carrying out entrepreneurial or trade activities.
“Four applications out of five are for loans up to 30,000 euros, mostly by retailers and restaurant owners, self-employed professionals and micro-enterprises: 4 out of 5 in quantity, though 19% in value terms” Says Mr. Stio. “Including the contribution from Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the Fondo Centrale di Garanzia has a budget of 9 billion euros this year (2020). No less is expected for 2021, at least. The most productive sectors are requiring the Government to raise the ceiling for 100% guaranteed loans to 50,000 euros. This would really help recovery.”

Intermediation between banks and enterprises
The scenario could get more complicated though. Putting aside what the Fondo will do or not do, banks will soon start requiring applicant companies to provide budgetary statements updated to 2020.
“As these reflect the current crisis, financing might slow-down or be denied, which would affect employment and growth” says Mr. Stio.
“We work as a bridge between banks and enterprises. We listen to entrepreneurs, analyse their needs of liquidity and suggest the best credit solution among those offered by the 23 banks we partner with.
On thew other side, we relieve banks from the burocratic procedures of the apply chain for a FDG guaranteed loan. Given the situation, we arranged for all proceedings to be handled digitally, with no need for the parties to physically meet.”
“Recently – Mr. Stio continues – we have been investing in insurances too. NSA subscribed a liability insurance policy with a ceiling of 30 million euros. This means that, should the FDG encounter inconsistencies or irregularities in the proceedings handled by NSA, our customers would run no risk. Just in case… as our tracking record shows 100% called policies, i.e. all guarantees have been cashed in.
We also ensure our client enterprises a 0% rate financing for insurance expenses so that all corporate risks related to their business may be covered despite liquidity issues.”

What to advice enterprises for 2021?
“In the first place, turn to your trusted bank. Secondly, choose a credit broker for support and advice” – l.d.o. (translated for NSA)

How does the Fondo di Garanzia work?
The Decreto Liquidità eased access to the Fondo di Garanzia. The FDG offers State coverage of loans released by banks to SMEs, professionals and self-employed, i.e. banks do not take risks themselves as the State is going to back them in case companies do not pay back.

9 billion euros
The FDG budget for 2020. Refinancing would be helpful, says Mr. Stio

1.23 million
The number of applications approved by the FDG in 2020, 55% of the last 20 years overall activity.

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