What happened when the emergency began?

We kept on doing our job: helping individuals and companies to implement their projects.

The pandemic called for the banking sector to reflect upon its role and implement a deep change, in relations with customers and how it worked. A change we had already made. The use of technology, the use of digital technology and the desire to innovate are the distinctive features of our growth, natural features of our being Bank. Innovative, digital, careful over sustainability, simple: the bank that people need, the Bank of tomorrow. What we have always been.

Customer management

The lockdown imposed social distancing. So how could we deal with customers? Using digital tools, like we always have.

Working from home

Our nature is smart and digital. This enabled us to guarantee full continuity of service. From Day 1, 100% of our people were operational from home.

A challenge shared together

The healthcare emergency has led people and companies to face unimaginable trials. We have tackled the new needs of customers and provided support to communities, ensuring the health and safety of our people. We believe that creating value means doing so together.
  • At the end of February 2020, Banca Ifis set up a Crisis Committee to ensure the rapid and responsible adoption of decisions/measures regarding the protection of the health of colleagues and the workplace, in compliance with decrees and ministerial indications, OSM and the Italian Banking Association (ABI).
  • Remote work was immediately encouraged and promoted, with immediate application to situations of greater “fragility”: Law 104, immunosuppressed, pregnant women, colleagues with previous pathologies. It later also included parental leave and in three weeks remote work was fully applied to 93% of the Group’s workforce and gradually extended in March and April to approximately 95% of employees.
  • According to a recent survey conducted by SWG, 88% of the Bank’s employees considered working from home a positive experience: 6 out of 10 believe that working from home is a form of inclusion for those with specific or family-related needs that allows them to manage their work more flexibly. It is also perceived as a good way to overcome distances, facilitate sharing and increase productivity.
  • The closure of branches in the most critical areas was arranged immediately, with the simultaneous launch of all procedures to manage the customer portfolio remotely.
  • The Bank has activated, for all its employees, the extension of health insurance coverage to Covid-19 in the event of hospitalization following a positive Covid-19 diagnosis.
  • For correct information for its employees and constant updating, an internal newsletter was launched, “Good Morning Ifis”. The newsletter, which is daily, arrives by email every morning at 8:30 and provides Ifis People with the main national and international news.
  • To stimulate a sense of community and belonging even remotely, contests dedicated to Ifis People and bi-weekly meetings with management were launched to remain up to date on projects launched by the Bank.
  • Plus, a partnership has been set up with Gympass, a wellness platform that allows you to exercise anywhere, even at home, and to take care of your health with a number of customisable digital options.
  • Full compliance with the provisions of the Cura Italia decree, the Liquidity decree and the ABI credit agreement.
  • Constant contact and dialogue with customers: the Bank entered “remote” mode, following requests and finalizing new contracts, thanks to the digital signature and the exchange of documents via certified e-mail.
  • In just a few weeks, a digital platform was set up to make the process of disbursement of new loans guaranteed by the State, envisaged by the Cura Italia decree, more efficient.
  • Over 17,000 requests for moratoriums were received and over 97% of them were approved, 80% of which were lease loans.
  • The Bank assessed the possibility of granting deferred payments for assigned debtor factoring, on an average of 30 days (maximum 60 days); for customers, the possibility to reach up to 100% of the advance on existing receivables was evaluated.
  • Banca Ifis opened credit lines dedicated to client companies that have converted or upgraded part of their processing chains to produce masks, sanitizing gels, technical material for Civil Protection, machine components for patient oxygenation, plasma treatment and of blood products.
  • Immediate liquidity was granted to pharmacies, if they had to be closed due to Covid-19, for the number of days they were shut down and up to a maximum of 30 days.
  • A range of financial leasing and rental solutions were structured to handle the new types of assets linked to the COVID-19 emergency, namely: equipment for monitoring body temperature, Termoscanners and equipment for purifying and filtering air.
  • On 5 June 2020, an agreement was signed with Veneto Sviluppo and the Veneto Region to grant subsidized loans to support the liquidity of local companies affected by the Covid-19 emergency.
  • On 20 July 2020, the Bank signed an agreement with the EIB for € 50 million of new loans in order to support small and medium-sized Italian enterprises. The agreement is part of the ‘Covid-19’ pan-European project.
Banca Ifis plays an active role in the development and promotion of the communities in which it operates, thanks to various initiatives, ranging from participation in national projects to the support of national and local non-profit organizations and bodies, up to the promotion of social solidarity initiatives. In 2020, the Bank’s commitment materialised through partnerships, agreements and donations involving non-profit associations, social enterprises and charities, with a special focus on children and those in difficulty, for whom the Bank chose to intervene actively with various projects.

In the aftermath of the pandemic

How do we consider the future

Adoption of the Covid-19 pandemic containment measures has brought the impact of digital into the daily lives of businesses at another, higher level. Working from home and digital tools have become customary in many SMEs, changing how they work and their relations with customers. We were ready for the new horizons. Speed and rapidity are in our DNA – digital by nature – and the ongoing investment in digital tools will keep us heading in this direction. Our goal is to be – every day – the bank of the future, able to create the right alchemy between technology and the human factor. We want to offer customers a “company-tailored”experience in which technology and robotics perform operating activities freeing energies and expertise for high added value advisory activities. To issue online loans effectively, Banca Ifis will fully redesign processes in order to create a customer-friendly, simple and immediate environment. The approach will be truly customer-centric, with the focus on entrepreneurs and this will apply to every physical and digital channel, to give them the best possible experience. This way, the Bank will not act as a simple lender but as a partner, to support supply chains and economic recovery. For further information on how we are changing our way of being a bank, learn about our digital innovation projects.

The sustainable evolution of NPL management

The Covid-19 crisis has hit families and businesses hard, leading them to value to cooperation and collaboration in every activity. Ethics, interaction and transparency are, already now, the fundamental characteristics on which the daily management of Banca Ifis’ impaired loans is based. To keep on heading in this direction, Banca Ifis will pursue, with ever greater determination, a virtuous strategic model in which every action is sustainable for the customer, for the Bank and for the system in which the Bank operates. It is about adopting an approach designed around the customer, combining the expertise of human resources and new technologies. This goal will be pursued by improving staff training in relation to customer relationship management, increasing the use of digital technology (e.g. artificial intelligence in allocating assignments and robotics for repetitive activities such as reconciliation of proceeds) to make processes more efficient and retraining staff to carry out activities with a higher added value and, last but not least, by enhancing the monitoring and alert system to improve the collection process in terms of customer service. Investments in NPL portfolios will increasingly focus on:
  • A multidisciplinary character, thanks to a team with vertical experience in the sector and, at the same time, legal, economic and statistical expertise;
  • Speed, which benefits from a flexible and proactive attitude towards all asset classes;
  • Solidity and continuous innovation in valuation models.
The investment goals will also be achieved through partnerships or co-investments.