Management of Covid emergency

Measures to protect employees and customers.

In the unexpected and decidedly complex Covid emergency scenario, Banca Ifis promptly implemented a number of measures to protect the health and safety of employees and all customers, with no interruptions to its activities.

To handle and overcome the crisis triggered by the pandemic, the Bank accelerated its digital evolution projects, aiming for increasingly more personalised services, even from the technological point of view, with special attention for the needs of that eco-system of small and medium-sized enterprises and the speed of allocation of short-term loans.

Supporting people

  • At the end of February, Banca Ifis set up a Crisis Committee in order to take fast, responsible decisions/measures to safeguard the health and safety of colleagues and the workplaces, complying with ministerial, WHO and Italian Banking Association (ABI) decrees and indications.
  • Working from home was encouraged and promoted straight away, with immediate application for the more “fragile” situations: Law 104, immuno-compromised, pregnant women, colleagues with prior health problems In a second step, parental leave was added, to achieve, in three weeks, full application of home working for 93% of the Group workforce.
  • Branches in the most critical areas were closed immediately, with the contextual start of all procedures to manage customer portfolios
  • The Bank activated extension of health insurance coverage to cover Covid-19 for all its employees.
  • To provide correct information to all employees and for regulations and the various orders to be continuously updated, Banca Ifis launched an internal newsletter, “Let’s start from here again”. The newsletter, published daily, arrives by email at 8:30 every morning.
  • To stimulate a sense of community and belonging even remotely, it has launched an internal campaign, “Show us how agile you are. Take a shot”: a “digital wall” has been set up on the company intranet where photos received from colleagues working from home are uploaded.

Actions taken for customers-companies

  • Full adhesion to the orders of the Cura Italia decree, the Liquidity decree and the Agreement for ABI credit.
  • Ongoing contact and dialogue with customers: the Bank has entered “remote” mode, following requests and perfecting new contracts, thanks to the digital signature and exchange of documents via PEC (certified e-mail).
  • In just a few weeks it set up a digital platform to streamline the process to allocate the new State-guaranteed loans, established by the Cura Italia
  • The Bank assessed the possibility to grant deferred payments for factoring debtors transferred, for an average of 30 days (maximum 60 days); for customers it assessed the possibility to reach up to 100% of the advance on existing credits.
  • Banca Ifis has opened specific credit lines for customer companies who have converted or strengthened part of their processing chains to produce masks, hand sanitiser, technical material for the Civil Defence, patient oxidation machinery components, processing of plasma and blood products.
  • Pharmacies were granted immediate liquidity in case the activity had to be closed due to Covid-19, for the days blocked and up to a maximum of 30 days.
  • In stage 2, Banca Ifis structured financial lease and rental solutions to manage new types of assets linked to the Covid-19 emergency: equipment to monitor body temperature, Thermoscanners and equipment to purify and filter air.
  • On 5 June 2020, it signed an agreement with Veneto Sviluppo and the Veneto Region to grant facilitated loans to support the liquidity of companies operating in the area hit by the Covid-19 emergency.
  • On 20 July 2020, the Bank signed an agreement with the EIB for €50 million in new loans in order to sustain small and medium-sized Italian enterprises. The agreement is part of the Pan-European “Covid-19” project.

Supporting the community

Thanks to several initiatives, Banca Ifis plays an active role in developing and promoting the communities it operates in.These go from taking part in national projects to support Italian and local non-profit organisations and bodies, on to promoting social solidarity actions.

These actions have been intensified in recent Covid-19 pandemic months; an emergency during which the Bank has responded actively supporting the “Italy is Calling” project, with a donation to the Civil Defence to purchase an intensive care unit.

From amongst the various actions, we would like to highlight the Bank’s support for the event “One night in Portofino”, to respond to the serious emergencies generated by Covid-19, with proceeds being devolved to the Hospital Policlinico San Martino of Genoa.

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“We have always had maximum respect for Businessmen and Companies and are committed daily, especially now and faced by the complex pandemic scenario, to providing an effective answer to all their requests, proposing the best financial solutions based on their needs and emergencies: from support for working capital to loans for new investments needed to sustain the growth of business and the Country’s recovery.”

Raffaele Zingone, Head of the Central Affairs Directorate