The Guarantee Fund

The Guarantee Fund (Law 662/96) is a public guarantee created by the Ministry of Economic Development (MISE), the purpose of which is to facilitate access to credit for businesses, replacing or accompanying guarantees of another nature and reducing the risk of the financing party on the guaranteed amount.

Expansion of the operations of the Guarantee Fund

Italian Legislative Decree no. 23 of 8 April 2020 (Liquidity Decree) – as converted by Law no. 40 of 5 June 2020, published in the Official Gazette no. 143 of 6 June 2020, no. 143 and as also amended by Law no. 234 of 30 December 2021, (Budget Law 2022), by Law no. 15 of 25 February 2022 and, most recently, by Italian Legislative Decree no. 7 of 1 March 2022, (Energy Decree), also concerning measures to support liquidity in businesses, ordered a strengthening of the Guarantee Fund (Law no. 662/96) and expansion of the relative operations with several provisions, valid until 30 June 2022. The main changes concerning the ordinary operations of the Guarantee Fund are: the guarantee is free of charge until 31 March 2022 ( except for guarantees issued on loans granted in support of proven liquidity needs of enterprises resulting from higher costs due to increases in energy prices, which remain free of charge until 30 June 2022), the increase in the maximum amount guaranteed per individual business, and the increase in the percentage of direct guarantees to 80% regardless of rating bands and loan durations.

Recipients

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises registered with the Register of Companies belonging to different production sectors with registered office in Italy. Enterprises in these sectors are not eligible:
  • Financial and insurance activities;
  • Public administration and defence;
  • Activities of households;
  • Organisations and bodies outside the national borders.

Key changes

The Liquidity Decree, as last amended by Budget Law 2022 – introduced the following main novelties related to Guarantee Fund operations, to remain in force until 30 June 2022:
  • Use of the guarantee free of charge until 31 March 2022. From 1 April 2022, a fee will need to be paid to the Fund for use of the guarantee, as specified in article 2, paragraph 100, letter a), of Law no. 662 of 23 December 1996; with some exemptions provided, for example, for companies based in the regions of Southern Italy, for women’s and social enterprises, and for SMEs and innovative start-ups. Until 30 June 2022, in any case, the fee is not due for guarantees issued on loans granted to support the proven liquidity needs of companies resulting from higher costs due to energy price increases;
  • Maximum guaranteed amount per company raised to EUR 5 million;
  • Raising the direct guarantee to 80% for all loans regardless of the rating bands and loan durations;
  • For loan applications pursuant to Point 3.2 of the temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the Economy in the current Covid-19 emergency (temporary Framework) the maximum duration foreseen is 96 months for a total loan amount per single company not exceeding alternatively :
    • Double the annual salary expenditure of the beneficiary company for 2019 or the last year available (in the case of companies set up from 1 January 2019, the maximum loan amount cannot exceed the annual salary costs expected for the first two years of activity);
    • 25% of the beneficiary’s total turnover in 2019; for companies characterised by ultra-annual production cycles (joint-stock companies in the real estate and construction sectors), reference is made to the revenues from sales and services added to the changes in inventories of unfinished, semi-finished and finished products;
    • Requirements for working capital or for investments in the following 18 months for SMEs (requirement to be certified with self-certification pursuant to Presidential Decree 445/2000);
    • For loans granted under the temporary Framework with a duration no longer than 72 months and already guaranteed by the Fund, with an extension to the transaction duration granted by the Bank, SMEs and companies with no more than 499 employees (Mid Cap) may request a guarantee extension to 96 months, without prejudice to the aforementioned maximum period of 96-month transaction duration.
  • Eligibility for the direct guarantee of the Fund to the extent of 80% also for loans for company debt renegotiation transactions. If the new loan should be applied for pursuant to Point 3.2 of the temporary Framework or should concern renegotiation of loans granted by the Bank that are not already guaranteed, the new loan must foresee allocation to the Company of additional credit to the extent of at least 25% of the existing debt amount granted for the loan being renegotiated. In such cases, the Bank must send the Guarantee Fund a declaration certifying the reduction in the interest rate applied on the guaranteed loan, as a result of the guarantee being granted;
 
  • Coverage of the direct guarantee of 80% for new loans to SMEs and natural persons carrying out business, arts and professional activities, whose business activity has been damaged by the COVID-19 emergency (to be certified with self-certification pursuant to Presidential Decree 445/2000) on condition that the loans provide for:
    • Minimum grace period of 24 months; maximum duration of 180 months;
    • Amount not exceeding 25% of the beneficiary’s total turnover or double the wage bill (for companies set up as of 1 January 2019 at the annual wage costs foreseen for the first two years of activity), resulting from the filed financial statements or tax returns for 2019, 2020 or 2021. Regarding 2021, also through self-certification pursuant to Presidential Decree 445/2000 or other appropriate documentation, and, in any case, not exceeding EUR 30,000.
For these loans, the intervention of the Guarantee Fund is granted automatically, free of charge and without evaluation, until 31 March 2022. From 1 April 2022, a fee will need to be paid to the Fund for the use of the guarantee referred to in this letter, as specified in article 2, paragraph 100, letter a), of Law no. 662 of 23 December 1996, with some exemptions provided, for example, for companies based in Southern Italy, for women’s and social enterprises, and for SMEs and innovative start-ups. Until 30 June 2022, in any case, the fee is not due for guarantees issued on loans granted to support the proven liquidity needs of companies resulting from higher costs due to energy price increases. The Bank can disburse the loan guaranteed by the Fund, subject to formal verification that requirements are fulfilled, without waiting for the final outcome of the investigation by the Fund manager. The companies obtaining these loans, pursuant to art. 13 par. 1, letter m) of the Liquidity Decree as converted (indicating a maximum limit of 120 months) may apply, pursuant to art. 1, paragraph 217, of Law no. 178 of 30 December 2020, (Budget Law 2021), for an extension to a maximum of 180 months, merely adjusting the interest rate applied, related to the longer loan duration. For loans referred to in subparagraph m), including those extended pursuant to subparagraph m-bis), whose initial principal repayment date is scheduled to fall in 2022, the date mentioned above may, at the request of the borrower, be extended by a period not exceeding six months, provided that the overall duration of the loan does not exceed 180 months.  
  • No fee is due for not finalising the financial transactions;
  • Repeal of the limits to the operations of the direct guarantee existing in some Regions (Tuscany, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Marche, Abruzzo).
For further analysis of all novelties to Guarantee Fund operations introduced:
  • From art. 13 of Italian Legislative Decree no. no.23 of 8 April 2020 (Liquidity Decree) – as converted by Law no. 40 of 5 June 2020, published in the Official Gazette no. 143 of 6 June 2020, and as also amended by Law no. 234 of 30 December 2021, by Law no. 15 of 25 February 2022, and, most recently, by Italian Legislative Decree no. 7 (Energy Decree)
please refer to the Laws themselves.
In light of the changes introduced by the Liquidity Decree on the operations of the Guarantee Fund, as extended by Budget Law 2022, Banca Ifis proposes the following loan transactions supported by the guarantee of the Guarantee Fund.

Mortgages guaranteed by the guarantee fund

SMEs (until 30 June 2022)
  • Amount to be determined according to corporate needs, subject to the Bank’s assessment and the maximum amount of loans guaranteed by the Guarantee Fund for each company, equal to € 5,000,000;
  • Amount guaranteed by the Guarantee Fund: 80%;
  • Maximum duration 96 months;
  • Grace period up to 24 months;
  • Purposes in support of the business activity for liquidity needs (e.g. payment of suppliers, staff, purchase of stocks, financial repositioning), to carry out investment programmes or renegotiate existing loans [loans for renegotiation purposes provide for the disbursement of additional credit equal to at least 25% of the amount of the outstanding debt of the loan(s) being renegotiated and reduction of the interest rate applied if carried out pursuant to Point 3.2 of the temporary Framework, or concern renegotiation of loans granted by the Bank not already guaranteed].
SMEs whose business activity has been damaged by the COVID-19 emergency (pursuant to the Liquidity Decree art. 13 par. 1 letter m):
  • Maximum loan amount of 25% of the beneficiary’s total turnover or double the wage bill (for companies set up as of 1 January 2019 at the annual wage costs foreseen in the first two years of activity), resulting from the filed financial statements or tax returns for 2019, 2020 or 2021. Regarding 2021 also through self-certification pursuant to Presidential Decree 445/2000 or other appropriate documentation, and, in any case, not exceeding EUR 30,000;
  • amount guaranteed by the Guarantee Fund: 80%;
  • maximum duration 180 months;
  • grace period of 24 months.
The companies that have already obtained these loans, pursuant to art. 13, par. 1, letter m) of the Liquidity Decree as converted (indicating a maximum limit of 120 months) may apply for an extension of duration to maximum of 180 months, merely adjusting the interest rate applied, related to the longer loan duration. Also, for loans referred to in subparagraph m), including those extended pursuant to subparagraph m-bis), whose initial principal repayment date is scheduled to fall in 2022, the date mentioned above may, at the request of the borrower, be extended by a period not exceeding six months, provided that the overall duration of the loan does not exceed 180 months. Average response time Average response time The average time taken by the Bank to grant loans pursuant to the Liquidity Decree art. 13, par 1, letter m, is 18 working days. For all types of guaranteed mortgage, the guarantee fees and the fee for not finalising the financial transactions will not be applied by the Guarantee Fund until 31 March 2022. As mentioned previously, from 1 April 2022, a fee will need to be paid to the Fund for the use of the guarantee as specified in article 2, paragraph 100, letter a), of Law no.662 of 23 December 1996. with some exemptions provided, for example, for companies based in Southern Italy, for women’s and social enterprises, and for SMEs and innovative start-ups. The guarantee fee is a one-off commission which varies according to the company’s size (0.25% of the guaranteed amount for Micro enterprises, 0.50% of the guaranteed amount for Small enterprises, 1% of the guaranteed amount for Medium enterprises). Until 30 June 2022, in any case, the fee is not due for guarantees issued on loans granted to support the proven liquidity needs of companies resulting from higher costs due to energy price increases. These conditions partially derogate from provisions in the Information Sheet on Guaranteed Mortgages, Puglia Sviluppo Guaranteed Mortgages and Mortgages Guaranteed with EIB funding and Mortgages Guaranteed with CDP/EIB funding following the provisions introduced by art. 13 of the Liquidity Decree, extended by Budget Law 2022 until 30 June 2022.
Corporate customers wanting to learn more or request further information should contact their branch Manager; Non customers should contact the Local Branch or call the Direct Line on 800 712 433.

Guaranteed leases with the guarantee fund

  • Maximum amount of the loan of Euro 5 million;
  • Maximum amount guaranteed by the Guarantee Fund equal to 80% of the amount financed in financial lease;
  • duration up to a maximum of 72 months;
  • Purpose: investment for business activities;
  • Types of asset financed: capital goods, semi-trailers, trailers, industrial vehicles;
  • Deadline of 9 months for delivery of the asset/signing of the delivery report (instead of 6 months), which produces the effects of the date for granting the loan;
  • Non-application, until 31 March 2022, of the underlying standard costs envisaged by the Bank for operations guaranteed by the Guarantee Fund: – Fee of € 300.00 for not finalising/waiving the guaranteed transaction; – One-off fee ranging from a minimum of 0.25% to a maximum of 1% of the guaranteed amount;
  • Reduction of the administrative management fees to 500 euro.
These conditions partially derogate from the provisions in the Information Sheet on Vehicle Leases and Equipment Leases following provisions introduced by art. 13 of the Liquidity Decree (as converted in law) extended by Budget Law 2022 until 30 June 2022. To access the Guarantee Fund, it is necessary to send the leasing company the application form (Annex 4) published by the Ministry of Economic Development at the following link https://www.fondidigaranzia.it/normativa-e-modulistica/modulistica/ with a certain date. The application form must be signed by the legal representative of the company and be completed in full.
For further information, contact your local branch or call the Direct Line at 800 555 078.