Intesa Sanpaolo attributes a great deal of importance to the Third Sector, which represents a significant part of the economy and of Italian companies. These customers are assisted by Banca Prossima, which creates positive social impact through its lending activities. Its greater and more targeted credit with lower costs once again in 2015 supported the Third sector in terms of inflows-outflows balancing, job creation and capacity to reach the ultimate beneficiaries. The Bank has achieved significant results in recent years. At the end of 2015 it had over 55 thousand customers, with 6.9 billion euro in deposits (of which 2.7 billion euro direct) and around 1.6 billion euro in loans. In 2015 the company reported revenues of 69 million euro (+31.2% on 2014). These are major milestones that demonstrate the ability to monitor a socially important segment, above all in the current context where Public Administration has partially withdrawn from its involvement in welfare matters.
In 2015 new medium and long-term loans in support of social enterprises was granted for 200 million euro.
In many of the initiatives launched, the collaboration with VoBIS, a national non-profit association comprising former bank employees who offer their expertise to citizens and non-profit organisations, providing applicants with mentoring and tutoring activities, proved to be particularly valuable.
For Banca Prossima, operating close to the community has also translated into promotion, in partnership with certain shareholders’ foundations and Third sector entities, of the “Fiducia e nuove risorse per il Terzo Settore” Manifesto (Confidence and new resources for the growth of the Third sector), which aims to build a network of operators providing financing sources at a moderate cost in order to support non-profit investments @.
To consolidate and further strengthen the bank's leading role for the non-profit sector, new products, services and initiatives were created and business agreements aimed exclusively at non-profit firms were developed. In particular: “A scuola con Prossima”, the range of financial solutions dedicated to officially recognised private pre-schools and elementary schools managed by non-profit organisations; “Doppia Fiducia” an initiative addressed to organisations whose financial statements feature past due loans from the Public Administration; “Energy efficiency programme” in partnership with Federesco, which allows organisations to request a free preliminary energy audit to identify possible efficiency-enhancing measures within their structures and to implement them out also through a loan by the bank.
As part of non-financial services, it is worth mentioning two initiatives, "iNProspettiva" launched in partnership with Intesa Sanpaolo Formazione, to plan and deliver training to the organisations which are customers of the bank and “NPsupport”, for consultancy to non-profit organisations on issues such as legal, accounting, tax and administrative advice, start-ups and the evaluation of the economic and financial sustainability of the initiatives.
In 2015, seven stages of a road show, "Daterzoaprimo tour", which allowed Banca Prossima to meet key local stakeholders, its customers and over 400 colleagues in the area, were developed to promote the centrality of the Third sector and its willingness to invest in economies with high social impact.
Subsidised loans to the Third sector
Banca Prossima has gradually launched a series of initiatives to grant subsidised loans to the Third sector. These loans are sustainable for the Bank through a number of low-cost deposit methods. The benefit for the Bank of lower cost of deposits fully translates into lower lending rates.
Essentially, this mechanism was adopted in three areas: use of loans from the European Investment Bank (in 2015 approximately 50 million euro was disbursed for a total of 20 loans), fundraising through the Terzo Valore crowdfunding portal, and issue of “Serie Speciale Banca Prossima” bonds.
Terzo Valore @ is a crowdfunding portal which allows anyone to lend money or to directly fund non-profit organisation projects, without intermediaries and with principal repayment guaranteed by the Bank. Terzo Valore has so far financed 70 projects with loans granted by external subscribers for about 6 million euro, plus 500,000 euro donations.
Two “Serie Speciale Banca Prossima” bond issues were performed, in October 2013 and in June 2014. The Bonds are issued at lower rates than those normally adopted for securities with the same characteristics in terms of rate type and maturity. The total funding was used as loans to the Third sector: amounting to approximately 45 million euro, divided among 218 projects of various types of organisation, primarily social cooperatives, associations and religious organisations.
In order to sustain the implementation of social enterprise ideas encouraging access to employment for deserving university students, also through self-financing methods, Fondazione San Patrignano - in partnership with Banca Prossima - has launched the Social Start-Up award “Giovani idee per il social business” (Young ideas for social business), an ideas competition addressed to university students and young people enrolled in a master's course or a Ph.D. (not older than 35 years of age). The competition is designed to award the best three social enterprise projects with a loan up to 25,000 euro, granted by Banca Prossima, guaranteed by a fund set up in 2013 by the Foundation.
Through this initiative, Fondazione San Patrignano and Banca Prossima aim to activate business culture operating in the social field, assisting emarginated or excluded people and making itself known on the market to guarantee - in addition to transparency, responsibility and environmental protection - real economic sustainability. In February 2016 the third edition was launched.
One of the most significant partnerships with the Third sector is that with Consorzio SPIN-Sport Insieme, a non-profit entity deriving from the collaboration with the leading sports Promoting Entities at national level (ACSI, AICS, ASI, CSI, ENDAS, LIBERTAS, PGS, UISP, USACLI) to build new sports facilities, renovate or adapt the existing ones to promote sports activities in Italy. The SPIN credit access model is innovative: the association takes on the risk by investing its own capital (minimum 20% of the amount) and undertakes a project study and analysis process together with the Consorzio. Banca Prossima’s credit decisions are supported by SPIN’s certification, which investigates some aspects, such as the investment’s economic and financial sustainability, the cost adequacy and the necessary authorisation process, which are key factors for the success of the project. In 2015 19 projects were analysed and assessed for a total value of approximately 10 million euro and 6 were financed for an amount of about 2.4 million euro.
Among the International Subsidiary Banks, Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania applies favourable terms to NGOs with half the cost for opening a second account and reduced costs related to internet banking.
In Serbia, Banca Intesa Beograd issued the first payment card that includes a devolution of part of the fees due to the Bank to the Paralympic Committee of Serbia (Visa Classic Paralympic). It is the first initiative of its kind in the country, aimed at establishing a stable and independent mechanism to ensure long-term care for athletes with disabilities and develop Paralympic sport in Serbia. In 2015, Banca Intesa Beograd has collected and donated almost 42 thousand euro to the Committee.
For several years VÚB Banka has developed a similar initiative in Slovakia: thanks to the introduction of special “Good Angel” credit and debit cards, the Bank contributes 1% of the sum spent by users to families with children in which one member is a cancer victim. Approximately 33,200 euro was donated in 2015.
Initiatives with high social impact
In 2015, the Intesa Sanpaolo Group issued new loans for high social impact activities amounting to over 3.2 billion euro (6.7% of the total new loans granted), helping to create business and employment opportunities as well as assist people in difficult situations in several ways: microfinance; anti-usury loans; loans to the Public Administration to develop socially useful services and activities; credit facilities granted to small and medium enterprises belonging to CONFIDI (consortia or cooperatives for collective credit guarantee); products and services addressed to Third sector associations and entities; products dedicated to the most vulnerable social groups to support their financial inclusion.